Amateur Counselors & Nice "Wicked"...
Well, Patio, I replied to you comment in the "Why" folder yesterday. I was not making a deragatory comment on the political system, per se. Maybe I didn't express it correctly, but I was remarking on the ATTITUDES of groups and or individuals who are members of each political party. They oppose each other. There was a lot rhetoric being thrown about every day on these daytime cable news channels and the pundits from both sides trying to have the last word, outtalk each other and spin their political beliefs to the point of screaming. That was what I was commenting on.
I believe the gist of the exchange Tina and I were having were about attitudes. I was using the political arena as an example of what I have observed about humans no matter what ideologies they have.
So Stephen, what was their reply to you?
Well, I think these two observations are basically sides of the same coin, "practice what you preach" comes to mind. However, to be a wise teacher you have to be more than just nice or moral. It seems to me it's about compassion.
The problem with truly enlightened people is that they're not going to toot their own horn, and it takes others to recognize the wisdom is there. Not to belittle the training of professional counselors, but it's not exactly the same thing. Psychologists may be educated, but that doesn't guarantee wisdom. I guess since it really takes wisdom to recognize wisdom, though, when it comes to serious pathology one may need more support. The course of wisdom is always to be involved in your own healing, but I guess in the beginning it may be very small steps.
It's funny, when I read your second point it made me think of the times when friends and acquaintances from various religions (including JW) would say "we could really use someone like you!" One 7th day adventist said he'd make me an elder. You want to be nice, but sometimes you think: If your religion is so great and changes peoples lives, why do you need to 'recruit' people who are already there? Isn't the whole point of it (for most of them) to win over sinners?
Please tell me how a wise layman is going to cure a scizophrenic or a manic depressive? How is a person going to assist this wise person in curing themselves? Not to "put down" the wisdom of the wise, of course. Another question. Since you say it takes a wise person to recognize a wise person, how is a delussional, halucinating schizophrenic going to be able to recognize a wise person?
Being nice, moral, and full of compassion isn't enough Introspection. Someone who has been a rape victum should go to a specialist who has dealt successfully with this problem. The same applies to child abuse, anxiety attacks, and cult separation, to name a few. Your words above remind me too much of Elder verbiage.
Flowerpetal, point well taken. I see what you mean. Sorry i missed your post on the other thread. I've had my 2 grandsons (ages 4 and 1) staying with me for 2 weeks and haven't had much time.
Good points all.
Larc, I appreciate what you're saying. However, you yourself have said in other messages that it is important to draw on the inner resources of the individual, and that is the main point I was trying to make. Don't you agree that to the extent possible, the client should play an active role in their own healing?
Perhaps I failed to properly qualify my statements, but the original message Patio wrote does not talk about pathologies such as the ones you described. What's more, this is not the mental health forum. As you know, I am interested in becoming a therapist myself, and I am certainly not poo-pooing mental health professionals and their training. Surely you would also agree that not all therapists are created equal, it seems to me that in addition to the proper education, the person brings a lot to their practice as an individual, just as you no doubt have a unique perspective with your experience as a JW as well as the professional training you've received.
Please accept my sincere apologies if it sounded like I was dissuading the readers from seeking therapy, I do believe there are times when it is necessary. In retrospect I do see that it is rather off balanced. But to be quite honest, Larc, I do have some reservations about the profession. My impression (and it may be little more than that, I ask that you correct me if I'm wrong) is that there is too much emphasis on pathology. It seems to me there's a danger in becoming identified with your condition rather than as a human being, and I know there are others who share this view. Perhaps I sound like a naive humanist, but I would never call a person a schizophrenic, though they may have schizophrenia.
You may very well completely disagree with me on this next point, but while I agree that being compassionate isn't enough, I think it is necessary. While a lay person does not have detailed knowledge regarding specific pathologies, I think there's something to be said for the human experience. If nothing else, I think those who are in touch with their humanity can provided needed support. A doctor can make a diagnosis, but sometimes even with a physical condition support is needed after the patient leaves the office. I think this is even more important in mental health. I am only pointing out different roles different individuals can play, I have not said that we only need one to the exclusion of another.
In your message regarding the stages of denial, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance as it applies to cult separation, you said you wanted the opinions of the experts, those who have been through this experience. If you really meant it, then according to your own words even I qualify as an expert in this area. Actually, I happen to disagree. I do feel my experience is valuable in understanding what others may be going through, but I recognize that each individual is unique. Again, this is why I feel uncomfortable associating people with their disorder. I have not gone to a specialist who deals with cult separation, (though I have sought therapy for brief periods of time, however I felt the benefits were minimal) and I am doing quite well today. I suspect I am not alone. What I said in reply to that post was out of my experience as a human being, not out of my experience as a JW, or even what I know of abnormal psychology.
So yes, I agree that if possible, people should seek professional help. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. It would be nice if people can have the support of their families too, but we know often that isn't possible either. The therapist doesn't replace caring family members, and well meaning relatives cannot replace the skillful care a therapist is able to provide. Despite these important roles, though, I see that what we really have in common is our humanity. I guess this is what I'm thinking of as wise persons, those who understand the value of identifying with others in this way, rather than as ex-JW or whatever other labels we may place on people.
Thank you for your more detailed explaination. I am in agreement with your ideas as stated here. There are some people who don't need professional help at all. For some, this forum and warm friends at home are enough for the healing process to occur.
Whether someone is labeled schizophrenic or not, the conditon exists. If I was talking to one, I wouldn't use the lable in addressing them, but nonetheless, they need professional intervention. Yes, compassion is part of it. Research clearly shows that empathetic therapists are the most effective.
By the way my mother was manic depressive and all the love and support from family and friends was of no avail. Lithium cured her totally and for good.
What I am most concerned about is Patio's original statement about the elders. They are woefully unqualified to deal with significant mental problems, and as a result they cause great injury to others.
Larc, I definitely hear what you're saying about the elders. Of course, often they lack education too, not to mention the very twisted mindsets of those in the organization, and the organization itself! One of the therapists I worked with was a witness at the time, and atleast she knew enough to speak up. If she hasn't left yet, atleast there's a force for good inside the congregation..