When mental health professionals wear their “expertise” as suit of armor

Most “healing”professionals of all stripes and varieties wear professionalism like a suit of armor. This is a subtle form of lying. They hide behind the armor of their profession hoping to seem flawless and authoritative. Removing themselves from their fellow humans…

This armoring is done by necessity, really. The professional is not fit to withstand the others pain in integrity with deep honesty and courage…The only way they can take care of themselves is to hide behind a wall of falsity. “I am better than you. You cannot touch me.”

And yet this is all false, inauthentic and toxic to any sensitive human being on the receiving end of such bullshit.

Mental health professionals are taught and trained to hide behind such walls. It’s considered ethical practice and good boundaries.

Now, to be clear, good boundaries are important…but they can be achieved in a radical different way when one is whole and authentic

I speak to all of this because I once hid behind such walls as a social worker and I have now observed it in dozens of people I’ve tried to work with…

Today, unless I am treated as a colleague and peer I cannot work with people…and generally, therefore, do not, though there are a few such people in my life now…who are, essentially, friends or colleagues whom I pay for their special skills.

I learned to expect to be treated with respect and if it’s not happening I don’t stick around. Period.

We come to respect ourselves and in that process we find those that will respect us as well. It’s a rough road. It can be done.

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2 Responses

  1. Yes, they do seem to “hide behind a suit of armor.” I remember a “therapist” I had that on her voice mail directly stated she could not be bothered anytime except during her office hours. When, my father passed away, she never called me and did not know until our next appointment the next week. Her excuse was that the telephones were “down” because of a summer storm that occurred about that time in the area.
    This makes me think as a daughter of a Pastor and Army Chaplain, they could not escape their obligations to the “troops and their families.” I knew my father to be called out at all times of the night and day for all kinds of reasons.
    Obviously, the “mental health professionals” tragically of these days do not share this same moral and ethical obligations and desires to help those they were employed to help. Perhaps, it is not entirely their fault. I do not know if the breakdown begins in their training (the schools) or at their employment site; but, it is something that needs to be revisited as peoples lives are at stake. This is especially imperative as more and more their insistence on passing your alleged distresses over to someone who can change your life in a negative way through imposing “toxic drugs” until your body, mind and soul.

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