Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Road Less Traveled

Psychotherapy is a light shedding process. It is submission to the discipline of self-examination. There is "legitimate suffering" involved - the pain of conscience, the pain of realizing one's imperfection - in order to heal and become whole.

Those who escape this "legitimate suffering" suffers a root of mental illness. Here I am talking about avoidance and evasion of pain needed to see things as they really are. They hide in the dark. People who do this exert the maximum effort to maintain an artificial or false image of high respectability.

I am like you, even if I'm a therapist. I am a fellow human being. You are not alone. This is the reason I don't mind sharing with you my own personal struggles and pains. An essential therapeutic tool I don't want you to miss is self-honesty. I cannot help you heal and stop hiding from yourself if I myself am engaged in my own personal cover-up or lack of transparency about reality.

Therapist Dr. Eric Fromm once used a clinical concept he called "malignant narcissism." The DSM manual of mental disorders terms it NPD or narcissistic personality disorder. To me, I'd rather use a simple word, "self-absorption." The narcissistic or patholologically self-absorbed hate the light that shows them up, the light of truth that penetrates deception. The disorder leads them to be extremely reluctant to be studied and to be healed of their own wounds and shortcomings. The disguise or facade is usually impenetrable.

The road less traveled is the road to recovery and wholeness. It courageously faces the light ... not evading truth, not avoiding legitimate pain, not hiding from itself.

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