Friday, November 23, 2012

The Healing Climate

Healing can happen only in a climate of openness and truth.

This is the tragedy of Mina. Mina was caught in adultery, one which traumatized her husband. Her need to deny or "stonewall" her wrongdoing prevented her personal, marital, and family healing. What's her primary wound? I believe it's not so much the affair as it is her insistence on her own innocence with the resulting cover-up. Hers is a poignant illustration of the life-damaging consequences of being unable to say, "I was wrong."

Medically speaking, if a person suffers an injury, he or she has to acknowledge first having wounds. That way, it allows the doctor to open up the wounds and remove all foreign particles. Once the infected area is uncovered and treated, healing forces can be at work making damaged tissues new again. To deny and cover over the infection invites a more serious disease and even death.

This principle is at work as well in psychotherapy and counseling. The doctor or counselor does not condemn and in whose presence a patient can lower defenses and show the wounds where they really are. The patient can then begin to admit responsibility for his or her own behavior, including shameful acts, wrong attitudes, negative feelings etc. It is in this kind of climate and relationship that psychological and emotional healing take place.

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