In the 57 years I’ve been studying psychology there have been three schools of thought about where psycho/emotional/social suffering comes from—nurture, trauma, and nature.
Blending the principles of martial arts with the practice of psychotherapy was central in my early development as a clinician, and I still find the material invaluable in my healing work.
Let’s focus mostly on therapists’ growth as human beings. I believe that such an emphasis is a new paradigm for developing mastery in psychotherapy.
I’ve looked with interest at the rise of coaching as a discipline over the last twenty-five years. I love the movement and admire all the men and women who are called to help others in their lives. People are by nature social, and everything we do, any developmental progress we make, involves intimate connections with other people, and we all do better with wise guidance.
We all want to feel better. Sometimes, this can happen instantly with insight, attention, loving acceptance, or shared understanding. But more often than not, feeling better takes time.
I call this the “physics of mood,” because our feeling states are based, to a significant degree, on our hormonal systems. Rage, shame, terror, and high anxiety create endocrine baths in our bloodstreams that often don’t instantly disappear when we address them.
Panic attacks are not much fun. Hearts race, hands sweat, you feel like everything is going to hell, and you believe you are powerless, worthless and alone. Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks and end up in emergency rooms being prescribed anxiety reducers like xanex and valium.
On this episode of The Shrink & The Pundit, Jeff and Dr. Keith talk about one of the oldest and most dreaded of human afflictions, depression. They consider not just the suffering, but also the wisdom and growth potential that depression offers. They look at the qualities of modernity that magnify the condition, the mixed blessing of pharmaceuticals and neuroscience, and how depression is experienced and best treated at different stages in the developmental journey.
We humans are storytellers. We constantly generate stories about ourselves and the world, stories which arise from habits, internal experiences and life events. Even as we sleep our body and spirit generate dream stories that solve problems, fulfill desires and reveal fears.