While medication may alleviate severe symptoms quickly and allow a person suffering to feel better and perhaps become a more functioning individual, a pill can not get at the root of much of our suffering. For many, emotional wounds go deep and travel a long path back into our history. Talk therapy is designed in part to travel that path once more, cleaning and reorganizing as we go. Unlike swallowing a pill, this journey can be time-consuming and itself an emotional roller-coaster. Sometimes, we even feel worse before we feel better. But, the decision to enter into therapy can be a life-changing moment in which we declare a desire to not only feel better, but to get better. Getting better involves a lot of work, introspection and emotional healing that medications alone can not always provide.
Medications have their place and have saved countless lives and have improved the lives of millions more. In our rush to feel better and to treat every emotion and feeling out of the ordinary, let's remember that our mental health is in many cases more complicated, more unknown and more tenuous than even our physical health. Therapists are trained to help clients heal "broken" hearts just as physicians are trained to heal diseased ones. Recovering from heart surgery is going to be a lengthy, "two-steps ahead, one-step back" approach. Let's give ourselves the same permission and time-frame to heal our emotional wounds. And, healing our emotional wounds often involves talking about and processing those pesky emotions which define our species and make us each who we are.
Be kind to each other and to yourself.
© Copyright 2014 Douglas Layer, M.A., LPCC