Therapy and beyond
7/30 quote I believe in the healing power of therapy. I believe that doing the work, people can learn to meet many of their needs and can learn many wonderful coping skills and we can absolutely build resilience. AND I know that it would be gaslighting to suggest that all the individual work in the world will replace the need for community, for accommodations for those with disabilities, or for comprehensive health care.
Being a therapist has been a calling of mine for a very long time. I am a big advocate for reducing stigma and for everyone to get the mental health care they deserve and need.
And I also have to be realistic about what therapy can truly do for people. The therapeutic relationship is powerful and healing. But it is also not usually more than one hour a week. That is inherently limited.
And it focuses solely on the individual. I cannot change client’s partners or family. I can help them learn what they did not learn growing up, and I can help them to meet the needs that were not met and to earn a secure attachment. But I cannot change that their family was abusive, toxic or neglectful. Together we must mourn that.
In doing the therapy it is also incredibly important to acknowledge and hold space for the fact that this society is not currently set up to meet vital needs for family, community, health care, safety and security, or accommodations and help for those who are unable to work.
It is a fine line to walk, to both help someone learn to cope with the limits of this society, but also not accept that this is the way that it has to be, that this is as good as it gets, or that they should be satisfied with it. That smacks of accommodating to abuse.
Just acknowledging how hard this can be and that this is something we must explore and unpack together.