6 Useful Black Swan Indicators

Kathleen Mills of PracticeMentors.us

This Week's Poll

6 Useful Black Swan Indicators

Why is this topic even important? Why am I thinking about this? Because I'm a counselor and I see people all day just like you do. Right now, it's predominantly people who are dealing with the fall-out of the latest Black Swan event.

The more I know about what's really going on, and that's what Black Swan indicators are all about, the better I will be able to address the demons that are driving droves of people into my office. We're ridiculously busy right now but I believe that the Fall will bring a deluge of people dealing with suppressed, post-event trauma and we have to have answers. That's why I'm thinking about this.

Indicators For Event Analysis

There are indicators that tell us the condition (on several levels) our population is in. Indicators are metrics, they help us to wrap our heads around things and that brings some measure of control and peace. They've always been there, we just have to know where to look for them. Here's a few of my favorites to get you started. Feel free to add your own custom indicators to the list, and make sure to let me know your favorites in the comments area.

#1. Parking Lots

How full was your parking-lot pre-event and what is it now? You'll know things are returning to "normal" when the parking lots are filling back up to pre-event levels. Speaks to the mind-set of the masses.

#2. Help Wanted Signs

Businesses only hire when they can afford the help. Help Wanted signs and ads are an economic indicator that the economy is improving. First they appear en masse, peak, then begin to subside as positions are filled.

#3. General Attitude of the Populace

What are people outside of your session rooms saying at the water cooler? Listen not only to what they're saying but the attitudes, emotions, and body language with which their message is delivered.

#4. Level of Travel

People tend to hunker down when a larger emergency situation manifests. Once the smoke clears, heads begin to pop back up and people begin to hit the road for Grandma's house again. Watch the travel metrics.

#5. Discretionary Spending Levels

Discretionary spending tends to decrease during uncertain economic times and Black Swan events, and increase when things get better. Plenty of online metrics for that.

#6. Specific Event-Related Indicators

Each event will be different but it's not difficult to compile a list of things to research to determine statistical or behavioral trends.

Got an Example?

I sure do and we'll use the biggest Black Swan event of our lives as a real-life case study, and we'll do it next week. You don't want to miss it!

And now you know.

Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.

Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP

Black Swan Indicators | PracticeMentors

Got An Opinion?

This post is my opinion based on almost 30 year practice as a mental health provider. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave your civil, constructive comments below. You do not need to be logged in to leave a comment.

About Kathleen Mills

Kathleen Mills is a fire-breathing, 30+ year veteran of the counseling world. A tireless warrior for the profession, her goal with PracticeMentors.us is to bullet-proof the counseling profession so that what happened to her doesn't happen to you!

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