There’s a lot to be said for today’s counseling and emotional therapy practices. So much progress has been made in digging into our character flaws, dysfunctional behaviors and relationships, addictions and successful coping methods. Medications are wonderful too when prescribed correctly and monitored. I can see how helpful some of these healing strategies have been with grief, turmoil, depression, mental health, family dynamics and moving through painful life experiences.
At the same time, I wonder what previous generations have done to cope with these same life issues? What do other cultures do for answers to these same ailments? How do poor people get expensive, so called essential counseling? I wonder.
Last week, a friend and I were talking about World War II and the horrors of that whole era: The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, war, the Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb. How did that generation get past their grief, pain, trauma and suffering?
I don’t remember hearing many stories of people seeking counseling or for that matter, a whole lot of money available for counseling even if that were sought. There was the introduction of the Twelve Step Program for Alcoholics Anonymous. There were accepted and consolidated therapies from Freud and Carl Jung with analytical psychology. There were churches that provided teaching and comfort by seeking God. All wonderful salve for wounded souls.
What I observe today though, is a propensity to seek professional advice and guidance for life issues. So much so, that I wonder if people are losing their ability to believe that they can make decisions without the advice of a therapist. I truly believe that those in the ‘helping profession’ have good intentions for all of their clients but I am also questioning the ’empowerment’ that seems to elude their unsteady clients.
While promoting introspection with self and comfort in community support groups, I’m beginning to believe that counselors are delaying the healing process by administering a short sighted agenda. I believe their agenda is to identify the clients pain or dysfunction, instruct on new coping methods and follow up with updates and check in’s. But there doesn’t seem to be any impetus to advance. No emphasis on momentum. Instead, they are encouraged to stay in each phase of recovery as long as the person desires. I believe this prolongs, postpones and damages true recovery.
I remember when I was growing up and a person took a hard hit, physical or emotional, I heard things like brush it off, climb back on the proverbial horse and ride again or have a good cry and then move on. I believe that in the end, the same result is attained – one quick and the other prolonged.
While we discussed this difference between todays therapists and yesterday’s coping with similar traumas, my friend said, ” Well, I think those generations that included the Pilgrims, the Pioneers, the Frontiersmen and the citizens of those developing nations, just got on with it.”
In my own final analysis, I tend to agree. Taking too much time, staying stuck in grief, self pity and indecision all postpone healthy recover. I am much more of the belief that we would do best by focusing attention on learning about whatever your crisis or trauma may be, discover a variety of successful coping and healing processes and then….just get on with it.
Move on. Keep your momentum going. Get unstuck. Get on with life!