A Psych Survivalist View of the Mental Health Field
For anyone with a psyche who has a wish to survive with a modicum of sanity or at least an orientation toward that precious, elusive place where sanity may be found, I offer the following to help explain the enormity of the problem with particular attention to the terrain of both the internal and external environment to help you on your journey.
Let’s start with a basic assumption, one that eludes most professionals in the mental health field. There is plenty of evidence to prove that almost anyone and perhaps everyone who lives on this planet of such fecundity and waste has gotten nuts as a result of the experience. This discovery leads inevitably to the first rule of Psych Survival, ‘we are all swimming around in the same soup.’ To show how digestible this rule is, I would thank my friends, the military veterans of HWAU, who upon hearing this rule, proceeded to offer themselves as floating potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes, while I offered myself as garlic to add both sharpness and sweetness to the metaphorical concoction.
Before anyone who dismisses this argument as frivolous, I would like to point out its deeper meaning, which would be obvious to someone from another planet, who has no attachment to the insanity we humans have created. The study of the mind makes no sense at all if the researcher starts by putting another’s mind in a test-tube to subject it to treatments that are a product of invention and that are researched on another before that treatment is tested on the researcher his/herself. If we are all in the soup, then it stands to reason that any therapy should first have succeeded in relieving symptoms in the person doing the research before it is unleashed on the unsuspecting world. Taking this a step further, we find rule two. If you can’t imagine yourself in the same position as the person you are treating, if you can’t identify with that person, you should not be doing research or treating that person at all.
With this as a backdrop, I will offer a concluding remark on the state of the mental health field. I am currently working with a psychiatrist who made the comment (really an observation) that, despite his comfort working with us, he did not understand how we in psychology are trained. I leave it to any psychologist who is reading this to fill in the blank, I mean, to free associate an answer. And to those who are not in the field and especially to those who seek our help and counsel, I will point out that, if my colleague from the medical field can’t figure it out, how can anybody else?
In this blog, I will endeavor to answer this and other questions about what makes the mind and the world it lives in an uncertain and crazy place. Hopefully in doing this, some of my readers will recognize more effective ways of answering questions about themselves and the nuthouse we all live in. And, as far as I’m concerned, any increased understanding by anyone will make the soup we swim in more tasty, even for me. I will warn the reader, however, I will not be doing therapy here, but instead will discuss how therapy should work realistically, including how various forms of treatment should work with a variety of diagnoses.