Healing the Damaged Psyche

confusedFour years ago, I wrote this article in response to a reader’s question. In that time, as I have since 1985, I read, I listened, I thought and I worked at assisting all sorts of folks with a multitude of abilities and disabilities and traumatic pasts. My understanding has grown. I stand by my initial statement:  “An emotional experience that warps the psyche can absolutely screw up a person’s whole future without the right assistance. And the right assistance is becoming rarer and rarer.” However, my understanding of what the right assistance is has expanded. It is true that you need a good therapist. But I would add now that you need something first before you even go to the therapist.. You need to be willing. willingness Willing to be Honest with every good and every bad that makes you you. To face square on the Mother Teresa and the Hitler and all between that resides in every single one of us in some degree. Judgement has no worth here because it precludes honesty. The fact is, what some folk call ‘brutal honesty’ is a prerequisite to healing. As is the willingness to Feel like crap. To feel intense pain, intense anger, to sob uncontrollably. It’s very much like the successful way of surviving the grief journey. It hurts like f—- and you have to be willing to feel it. Too many people derail their own healing because of their fear of the emotional agony. I’m sorry but unreleased emotion is more horrid than an untreated Staphylococcus bacteria in your body. staphylococci bacteriaOnly when you feel it and express it is the emotional puss released.   And the final prerequisite? The willingness to Accept. Eventually, to reach acceptance of whatever people in the past did to you, see the benefits even of it all and no longer use it to justify behavior. Eventually…with the right therapist. Over thirty years now of clinical practice and I can tell you for sure that Acceptance is essential to healing. Sadly the lack of willingness to say “well yep, _________ (put your abusers names here) did it and I can’t change it…shit happens…I better re-frame this story” has stopped so many folks from healing.  There will come a time with a good therapist when you will have to let it all go and move on to create new stories with you as the writer. You have to be willing.acceptance In summary the way to heal the damaged psyche is:

  1. Find a good therapist
  2. Be willing to acknowledge your angels and your demons
  3. Be willing to feel
  4. Be willing to accept reality and let it go

With love Leesa

6 thoughts on “Healing the Damaged Psyche

  1. Warts and all *laughs* Thank you for answering. The fact is I was in therapy last year with a psychiatrist, due to my neurological condition, but he said that despite that, there was nothing really that required psychiatric aid, but lots of “raw” tangles.. I ceased the therapy due to financial reasons, but have been at times wishing I could keep it up, or at least with someone who could be a bit more responsive than a Freudian psychoanalyst. But it’ll have to wait till I REALLY have money to spare… Thing is, I’ve done a horrible amount of “work” on my own, and I guess my early training in psychology has helped a bit, but it mostly was putting some effort to untangling the tangles, and that takes a lot of time on your own… friends sometimes help, but that also requires the proper kind of friends… anyway, thanks for the post, I am curiously awating tomorrow’s one 🙂

    • the tangled tangles we must untangle can be exhausting :). I hear you re : money…I don’t know what its like for you, but here in Australian therapists are charging ridiculous fees that the average bear just cant afford despite. Personally I find this discraceful given how essential good therapy is to all aspects of a persons life.

  2. Well, they are charging ridiculous prices internationally, such things are world denominators, LOL! I can’t be paying 70 euro at least a week, aka around 240 at least a month when I’m getting paid 600, it’s plain math. So, we poor buggers are left to fend for ourselves, and sometimes, I must say this, it’s for the better. For my psychology training I had to go through psychoanalysis myself and visit a dozen “experts” randing from psychologists, therapists, psychoanalysts to jungian psychiatrists, and at the time I was so not willing and/or ready that everything hit walls. I remember literally RUNNING out the last shrink’s office, but that might also have to do with her owing two humongous dogs that guarded the yard that were snarling at me… karma though. 😛

  3. Yeah the money thing sucks.

    re: the type of analaysis… hun the therapists themselves should have been able to signal to you your readiness or no, and perhaps at the time suggested a gentler therapy till you were ready to really go deep…this is one of the problems when therapists commit to only one ‘type’ of theraputic model…humans aint like that!

    A shrink with two humongous dogs…what a warm safe therapuitc environment for anyone to enter…..NOT!

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