Food for thought

I consider myself to be fairly active politically, though nowhere near the activist that my husband is. Politics is important to me because it is one place where I see the opportunity to attach my values to action. But I go through periods when I just don't want to hear about for a while. I don't want to read political blogs or news. When I avoid C-Span like the plague . And I am in one of those times. I think as I struggle to become more aware of my own shadow issues -- and they do seem limitless -- I become less willing to see the world in the stark black and white terms that so much political discourse these days falls into. I point you to this post from the Last Psychiatrist as offering some thoughts that can help us bring to bear our skills in looking at the political scene.

Someone asked me recently about whether or not I see therapy as healing.I don't think of therapy as healing in the usual sense. To heal means to make whole or healthy, to recover or restore and comes from the root kailo meaning whole or uninjured. In order to think of what I do as healing, I would need to see the people I work with, and indeed myself, as broken, ill and I don't, not in the sense of illness. I don't think of the people I see or myself as having any kind of brain illness, as Roy of ShrinkRap apparently does--

"the long-standing practice of carving mental health treatment out of the rest of the medical system, while applying different payment mechanisms (higher co-pays, for example) which have resulted in fractured care systems and higher costs. Even Medicare continues to charge beneficiaries a 50% co-pay for outpatient mental health care rather than the 20% for all other organ system disease.

This "carve-out" system is the ultimate in insurance discrimination. This lack of parity between brain illness and body illness should have ended in the 1990s, during the Decade of the Brain."

I see therapy  as opening the door to new possibilities. I cannot undo my history, make myself as if my childhood or any part of my life had been ideal, but I can become more conscious of the ways that history and my interpretations of it have operated in my life and in that way allow me to choose from a wider array of possible behaviors as I go forward. I think we are all wounded to greater and lesser degrees. But healing, in the sense that we usually think of it, seems to me to not be operative in the dealing with these wounds. 

So, as my patients and I work together, we can see  how the shape of childhood led them to be in certain ways. And becoming conscious of this, they can choose to act from a different place, no longer living out of the place of that child, though she will always remain a part of any of us.  Healing? Not really. Freeing? Yes.



© Cheryl Fuller, 2016. All  rights reserved.