What it's all about

The medical model would have us believe that treatment is all about curing or placing into remission disease. But is that really it, especially given that once a DSM diagnosis is given it is never removed? 

I see therapy quite differently, as being about assisting the process of individuation, of becoming ourselves. Individuation is a journey, not a destination, a goal which remains forever in front of us:

The goal is important only as an idea; the essential thing is the opus which leads to the goal: that is the goal of a lifetime.  ("The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 400.)

One of my favorite ways of describing individuation comes from Jolande Jacobi in her book, The Way of Individuation:

"Like a seed growing into a tree, life unfolds stage by stage. Triumphant ascent, collapse, crises, failures, and new beginnings strew the way. It is the path trodden by the great majority of mankind, as a rule unreflectingly, unconsciously, unsuspectingly, following its labyrinthine windings from birth to death in hope and longing. It is hedged about with struggle and suffering, joy and sorrow, guilt and error, and nowhere is there security from catastrophe. For as soon as a man tries to escape every risk and prefers to experience life only in his head, in the form of ideas and fantasies, as soon as he surrenders to opinions of ‘how it ought to be’ and, in order not to make a false step, imitates others whenever possible, he forfeits the chance of his own independent development. Only if he treads the path bravely and flings himself into life, fearing no struggle and no exertion and fighting shy of no experience, will he mature his personality more fully than the man who is ever trying to keep to the safe side of the road."  

And isn't that what it is all about -- treading the path bravely and flings himself into life, fearing no struggle and no exertion and fighting shy of no experience? Though heaven knows, no insurance company will pay for that.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.