I thought I’d do a less “waity” topic for this 5 for Friday (see what I did there? If not then you need to read my last 5 for Friday) Folks who are North Carolina natives probably understand the reference to Oak City in the name of my practice but I thought I’d give my reasons for choosing Oak City Psychology as the name of my new practice.
- Raleigh is the City of Oaks. That’s right, Raleigh is known as the City of Oaks because of the number of oak trees both in the city and surrounding areas. On New Year’s Eve, they drop an acorn. In November, they host the City of Oaks Marathon. Students from college campuses talk about getting hit with acorns thrown by unruly squirrels on campus. Oak trees are to Raleigh as peach trees are to Atlanta.
- Trees make for awesome metaphors. The image of a tree growing is, to me, one of the most powerful images to use in therapy. I constantly talk to clients about growing strong roots, finding time to shed their old lives (or leaves) to make way for new growth, the struggle to grow strong regardless of their environment, and being part of a community (or forest). Trees have symbolic meanings related to strength and protection, as well as support, loyalty, and wisdom. What better image for a therapy practice than a tree?
- Oak trees symbolize endurance, strength, stability, and success. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Celts all recognized the oak tree as a symbol of strength, even wearing oak leaves to signify powerful people in their society. Druids considered the oak tree to be the bearer of good luck, fertility, potency, healing, and good health. Oak trees have been and continue to be awe inspiring natural wonders. As cheesy as it sounds, I often think the same thing of my clients. I am constantly amazed by the trials they can withstand and the strength they show.
- All the other names sounded wrong. I literally came up with about 200 other names for this practice. I looked at every NC state symbol, geographic feature of my area, meanings for different colors, gemstones, and flowers, imagery that I liked, words that described my philosophy of therapy, words that represented my name, and on, and on, and on. This went on for weeks. My friends and family became annoyed with me. But I just kept coming back to Oak City. Which leads me to the fifth reason . . .
- Sometimes the right name just comes to you. I’d love to say that I consciously sat down and pored over books on symbolism, studied the history of Raleigh, and then chose the perfect name. But honestly, sometimes a name just comes to you. Being a native North Carolinian, I knew that Raleigh was the City of Oaks. And, I do love to use trees as metaphors. But that’s not what was top of mind when I thought of this name. As soon as I knew we were moving back to NC, I knew Oak City Psychology was going to be my practice someday. Sometimes you just know. Hopefully, that’s a sign that Oak City Psychology is meant to be here, that it will provide support for clients who need to find their strength, and that it will be a place for growth and healing for years to come. For now, the seed has been planted.