The Decision: A True StoryWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
Part Three Of A Series On Psychotherapy Once you have made decision to find help, be wary of "fast-food solutions," "McDonalds" type of psychotherapy such as glib call-in radio shows, simplistic magazine articles, or motivational tapes that promise to instantly heal your deepest wounds. It may only take thirty days to tighten a tummy, but soothing a troubled soul may take considerably longer. While there are helpful remedies for depression, obsession, anxiety, or a host of other psychological problems, there are no instant cures for upheavals and stresses that are all too common facts of life. The social norms of twenty-first century are convenience, precision, and speed. But when it comes to healing a hurt heart or suffering soul, slow and steady can win race.
On other hand, if all you really need is help in making a decision about a new job, a sick relative, or pre-marital counseling, be careful not to commit yourself to a trek up Mt. Everest, when all you may require is a situational solution. Sometimes less can be more. If you have never sought help, you may be wise to open door a crack and look around before crossing threshold.
Once you have differentiated between a crisis and a non-crisis, you still are faced with myriad choices within mental health care maze. Even professional health care practitioners need help sorting out all options. Several years ago, I supervised Susan, a talented and well-trained psychiatrist, who also happened to be a working mom with one teenage son and two younger daughters. Divorced for five years, she had recently remarried. The girls were delighted to have a new dad. However, her son Ryan felt replaced as primary "man" in her life. Ryan became increasingly vocal about how much he hated new intruder. He felt displaced, and in a way that can be typical of teenagers, he demanded attention by "acting out.” Unhappy and angry, Ryan stole a car. The police caught him and Susan and her new husband received every parent's dreaded nightmare-the call to come to police station. The police warned Susan that "Ryan was a bad kid," a "rotten apple" who would amount to no good. They urged Susan to press charges and make sure that Ryan would go to jail for a long time. Because she had trained to understand her son's underlying issues, Susan knew enough to call an attorney who managed to keep her son out of jail. However, even though she understood that her son was "crying out for help," Susan was unclear about what steps to take next.
Reactions to Traumatic Events Part 1Written by Dr. Dorree Lynn
What to expect. Men.
The other day I was talking to a guy’s guy whom I know well. He is a glib and facile talker, hard drinker and intellectually astute man. We were on phone and I had never heard him sound so down. “What’s up?” I asked very carefully, not to sound concerned. “Hey doc.” He said, trying to remain upbeat. “Yup.” I answered, just as casually. “Hey doc.” He repeated. “The strangest thing happened to me today. I was upset with some shoddy work that my assistant did and I started to talk with her about it and ya’ know what? I started to cry. Just cry like a kid. And then later,” he continued, “when I was talking to my boss, I started to cry again. Hey doc, what do you think that’s about?” Jocularly, I responded. “Glad to hear you’re human, Bill. Even strong men, have feelings and they are allowed to cry. I think your heart is aching and all those pictures of planes penetrating strong buildings just got to you. Cry when you feel like it, or get angry or afraid. It’s a very human and strong way to be. Hey, let’s meet later and talk, OK?” “Yeah,” he said. “How about tomorrow or next few days?” “Sure,” I answered, though, I was already figuring when I could squeeze in one more talk.
Everywhere I go, I encounter men in pain, men who are unaccustomed to talking or crying. Men stunned at their own level of pain or fear. Men in our society have an easier time getting angry than admitting more vulnerable feelings. The intense pain they experience due to recent terrorist invasion, their fear and their sense of loss are not feelings many men are accustomed to sharing. We live in a world where most men still see John Wayne sucking it up and riding away as a heroic image, and when they find themselves hurting or sobbing, they are often surprised and embarrassed. Many men prefer to hole up in their equivalent of a safe cave and suffer alone. Reaching out and talking is not their strongest suit.