When Your Life Goes ‘On the Ropes’

Every day I have the opportunity to see how differently families react to the crises, or even tragedy, that has befallen them.

Families are like the individuals that make them up. Some are capable of slowly bouncing back after taking a major hit. Other families never do adjust to what has happened. They lack some collective cohesive force which allows them to forge ahead despite the adversity.

Avoiding getting stuck in self-destructive behaviors can be very challenging for some families. They cannot cope with all that is demanded of them in caring for the injured, and fighting off the ritualistic game-playing of the insurance adjuster. There seems no end to the badness of their situation.

At a time when they most need psychotherapy, they can ill afford that extra expense. Asserting a claim for emotional distress is often overlooked, and is certainly underutilized as a legal weapon. This is unfortunate, because it is a valid argument to advance in many claims for monetary compensation.

Riding the Therapeutic Arrow

Freud’s “talking cure” of psychoanalysis has fallen into disfavor in western societies. Today mental health professionals often look to psychotherapy, grounded in developing new cognitive skills and behaviorism.

Those most benefited by help from a mental health professional seen in our practice, are people with strong verbal skills. They can better speak to their own psychological issues and with greater precision.

There’s no MRI machine for emotions, one that can discover the nature and degree of psychological pathology.

It’s sad how many patients persist in therapy, over years, and never really assuage the pain, much less end it. Society may be 100 years from effectively being able to treat major depression and anxiety disorder.

At sad times, we are reminded of the fragile equipoise that is the world of the human. When life becomes tormenting, it can be beneficial to “ride the therapeutic arrow” and get help. For this to work, there must be a great deal of credibility between the patient and the therapist. This factor alone is the most important one if the process of transference is to occur.

Therapy is a reflection of life itself – very amorphous and contradictory.  Those able to live with the ambiguities stand the best chance of getting to a better place.