Practice Makes Managable

“Psychotherapy, far from from being any sort of procedure that is administered from a place of detachment, is always a dialogue between two personal universes, one that transforms both.”

– George Atwood

January eight, twenty eighteen

For me, addressing depression and anxiety as individual issues has always been a waste of time. They are two sides of the same coin. I’ve rejected the seemingly populist notion that depression/anxiety has been just an individual’s reaction to their specific challenge(s).

However, if we don’t FIRST honor that this specific individual has been made to feel like he/she/they are the only ones feeling, reacting and experiencing their world (THE world) in the way that they are, then it’s a mute point to attempt to help them connect their experience/reaction (depression/anxiety) to their holistic selves.

I think the problem is that therapists/treaters stay in that First part. The part that honors, empathizes and acknowledges how specific the client’s experience of (insert mental illness or diagnosis here) is. Even though I adamently subscribe to “validation is half the distance toward trust,” we can become cemented in validating and encouraging and ‘cheerleading’ thus becoming another enabler to their “ailment” and dissatisfied lives.

It’s not news to know that a lot of us enter the field in an attempt to heal ourselves (HEAL THYSELF 1st!), and so it stands to reason that staying in the role of perpetual cheerleader can be very self satisfying. However, helping people emotionally grow up also means helping them move into a more responsible place.

Responsible to themselves and then responsible to their world. The world. Besides, whoever said we were curing anyone or anything? We’re healing not curing. There is a difference. Whaaaaa? You may say….Well, by helping others to manage their emotional reactions to life so well that they don’t dramatically and disatisfyingly impose on their day to day exsistance.

Yes, OUR reactions to OUR world (first as children to the only world we know: with our caretakers), then OUR world becomes the communities in which we participate. OUR world becomes THE world. We do, have, and can change the world by starting with our own. How? You may ask… Well, wait for it……(insert unashamed plug for therapy)….by prioritizing our inner world.

Those with whom I am privledged to work (as do we all) have natural inner world reactions to our outer world challenges. As a therapist, I can help guide them (aka treatment) in being able to more AFFECTIVELY ( I know it’s effectively but I’m making a point. We as therapists pay close attention to a person’s emotional affect ) manage (aka growth) that natural but over extended reaction .

Over extended because of the amount of outer world challenges that increase. “But Tim, why do the challenges have to increase?” Because, my clearly intelligent reader: Life, if you’re doing it authentically… is Hard! And it’s brutal reality can flood, overwhelm, and painfully saturate your spirit (aka trauma).

Treating people isn’t about helping them understand what the problem is and curing it by eradication. It’s about helping them practice by assisting, guiding, modeling, reparenting the underdeveloped parts of themselves through more visceral experiences (aka feelings) which helps them better manage their world…. inside and out (see the movie, it’s amazing)!.

In short, (I know, too late) it’s called Private Practice…I hope to help others practice this stuff privately first, then they can take it to the outside world and promote a NEW way to address a history of pain (aka anxiety/depression). And say simply. Very simply. With hope: Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes manageable.

“WE are the music makers and WE are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka

 “A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them; they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world. “- Sigmund Freud

“Vulnerability is the source of hope, empathy and authenticity. If we want clarity in our purpose, vulnerability is the path.” – Brene Brown

“I believe that every person is born with talent.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

Creativity is like a stream, it finds its path 

People who wait for changes to occur on the outside before they commit to making changes on the inside, will never make any changes at all.

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