I once sat at the bedside of a psychotherapy patient at the cardiac unit of the Philippine Heart Center.

Stress from overwork had caused his heart to beat erratically. His wife and three children were all around him.

It was serious that the doctors had to advise him of lifestyle change or risk a fatal heart attack.

He talked with me with bursts of thoughts alternated by long pauses. Then he started crying, embracing his wife and kids.

Admitting that all he thought about was making money, now he realized how much he took for granted what’s truly precious to him.

He can’t believe how much he put his job before his health, his family, his friends - everything.


During a serous medical or health crisis, conversion appears to take place more easily. What takes months or years in psychotherapy can happen in minutes in a hospital bed.

Dr. Irvin Yalom, in his book “Existential Psychotherapy,” depicts numerous cases among his clients who were ... 

“catalyzed by a confrontation with death into a rapid change in life perspective and a realignment of life’s priorities.”

Indeed, during times of emergency or exigency, conversion is a matter of life and death.

The same realization is fast happening too among thousands of people nowadays during this present Coronavirus global emergency.

As Wendy Lustbader once wrote, “Under the pressure of necessity, many change more deeply than ever before in their lives.”

Up until times of the global health emergency, necessity is defined in multitude of ways, mostly by any means one chooses.