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.