November 19, 2003

The Culture of Therapy

I found this article thought provoking, though possibly because it caters to my prejudices. I've never been in therapy, nor intend to be.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 19, 2003 02:40 PM

Deb said:

"He points out that in the not-so-distant past, people looked (at least in this country) to their relatives and friends to help them with their difficulties. They also turned to the consolations of religion, and believed in the virtue of stoicism."

My problem with the article is that sentence above. In the not so distant past, infant mortality was much higher, polio and small pox were real threats to lives, infertile women were considered "barren" and objects of pity and people died of simple diseases now curable with an anitbiotic. What this seems to imply is that the host of conditions that warrent therapy are merely something to be lived thru and those that actually seek out medical help are somehow weak.

As someone with 8 suicides in the two genereations above mine, rampant alcohol abuse on my maternal side and an ongoing struggle everyday to live with panic disorder, I sort of resent the implication that if I turned to family and the restoritive power of prayer I could overcome this.

Rather, I thank God every day that someone figured out how to deal with this disease that has ravaged my family. I take my medicine and thank the Lord that I have a way to live with it and not drink or lose hope. Therapy and medical intervention has made family life possible. It has made life, not something to be borne, but something to be lived with joy.

Will Duquette said:

Deb,

I don't think the writer is altogether against therapy; nor am I. Nor am I against medical treatment for those who need it. What bugs me is the notion that if you've suffered some kind of trauma you absolutely must have counseling from a professional therapist or, somehow, you'll never deal with it properly.