Through the years I have attended numerous Suicide Prevention training programs. They always raise a great deal of concern and many questions for me. My colleagues and I often discuss this, but rarely do so in public. Perhaps the conversation should be brought to the fore.
... that is the question. A veteran of Vietnam was talking about his experiences in Vietnam, about coming home and about the trauma he experienced and about how others believed he should react to that trauma. The mental health professionals, the V.A., his family and his friends all wanted him to "heal". But what they meant by "heal" was to forget, to stop talking about it, to move forward as if nothing happened. But he disagrees. He doesn't want to "heal". He wants to remember.
Private Murphy smiled. His drill instructor saw the smile and marched over to him, screaming, "What are you smiling about Private Murphy?!!!"
Some wise person once said that a rut is a grave not yet filled in. I'm stuck in a rut, and I choose to stay there. How does someone with psychological training get in a rut? We're just like everyone else and we fumble and stumble our way through life like everyone else. If we are healthy, though, we are doing our own work. How does a therapist handle being in a rut? Well, let's see...
This article is a response to a question posted on Intent.com, "How do We Help the Helpless?" Since I work with homeless families in a homeless shelter everyday, this question raised strong emotions for me. The word "helpless" hit me right between the eyes. Why?
I frequently work with people who are struggling to deal with negative emotions; anger, fear, jealousy, grief. Our culture trains us to avoid and/or deny negative emotions and we seem to believe that we have a right not to have to experience them. This belief causes a lot of unnecessary struggle which often manifests itself as "anxiety".