What if there is something fundamental about empathy such that when we cannot act on it, we lose part of ourselves, perhaps even our humanity? What if we have unwittingly created a world in which we chip away at our capacity for empathy, and with it, one of the unique traits of humankind: the ability to love beyond kinship and species boundaries? Can we continually be exposed to violence and degradation, particularly through the media, and maintain empathy towards the suffering of others, or must we begin to shut down, feeling a little less compassion in exchange for a sense of safety, if not hope? … [click on title to read and view more]
by Laura K. Kerr — Before I became a psychotherapist, I often wrote, lectured, and blogged about damaging aspects of psychiatry. I am more hopeful now — not about psychiatry improving, but about truly helpful mental healthcare for people who might otherwise be labeled “chronically” mentally ill and forever take medications to tranquillize their internal demons. Since I began combining Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with CG Jung’s growth-focused theory of human nature, I have witnessed meaningful, lasting change happen without medications. I have also heard others talk about improved outcomes (both providers and clients) when trauma becomes the focus of care and joined with faith in lasting transformation.
But hope can be blinding (although it sure feels good). The following poem by Franz Wright, from his collection Wheeling Motel, reminds me the problem with psychiatry goes beyond pushing dubious drugs. … [click on title to read more]