It is absolutely amazing how similar model railroading is to mental health therapy. I am licensed as a professional counselor, and I have noticed some unmistakable characteristics of model railroading that fit nicely into the rubric of the talking cures.
- Model railroading will not try to change you. If change is needed, it will be your choice.
- Model railroading will not demand you to attend. If you choose to leave it alone, it’s up to you.
- Model railroading offers empathic listening. Okay, that one is a stretch, but since all sound is absorbed, your model railroad will listen, without judgment, to anything you want to say.
- Model railroading offers an opportunity for mindfulness. One definition of mindfulness is awareness, without judgment, of the world as it is, others as they are, and yourself as you are. “Without judgment” is the sticky part because culture demands a constant determination of less-than or more-than, and very rarely equal to.
- Model railroading offers you quietness if that’s what you choose. If you don’t want to speak, it’s your choice.
- Your model railroad will give back to you exactly what you put into it.
- Your model railroad will not do the work for you. You are in charge.
- Your model railroad offers measurable progress. Choosing to see allows you to see the good work being completed.
- Your model railroad will move forward as quickly or as slowly as you choose.
- Your model railroad will sit with you if that’s what you need.
- Your model railroad will become exactly what you make it.
- Your model railroad offers complete confidentiality. What you say to your model railroad stays with your model railroad.
Perhaps best of all is that you can pay your bill any time you want to, at the hobby shop.
All of this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Mental health therapy is serious business, and these few things I have mentioned are a very small part of a wonderful opportunity for those in need of a listening and hearing ear.
I really am, however, a licensed professional counselor. No kidding.