It is with a somber heart that I write this post. As a physician (M.D.) who deals with the subspeciality of medicine that deals with brain diseases/ mental illness (A Psychiatrist) it is sometimes very painful to watch and see how others’ emotional trauma and or pain is being exploited in the media. This is more of the rule than the exception nowadays. It can sometimes take people several weeks in therapy to even establish rapport with their doctor/therapist. With this , it may certainly taken even more longer to move forward with a discussion to share some of your traumatic experiences from childhood or your early adolescent years. As a trained clinician, one should know how and when to pause, to listen, to validate and lastly when to gingerely confront the emotional stress of others. Sometimes, “empathetic listening” is all that we, as trained and licensed clinicians, need to do in the initial sessions.
The media has changed the way many of you may perceive or view mental illness, diseases and defects but real-treatment (psychotherapy) has really not changed. The patient’s emotional care/healing should be the hallmark of the goals in therapy. It is always important to place a delicate hold on the emotional psyche of the person(s) that had entrusted thier life, their pain and their past trauma(s) into your hands. Sometimes, what I see happening to others, who are supposedly getting mental health help, is almost devastating. It is a cause for much pause. As a clinician, I can almost feel the person going deeper into the painful issues of their past.
If you really need help, dealing with a difficult issue, from your dreaded past, just be careful who you open-up your wounds to and the arena in which you choose to do so as well. Mental Health is and will always be a private thing and is not to be played with ever or at any moment in time. People are daily completing suicide because they can’t find a way of escape from past ills. We as licensed physicans/therapists are bound by law to maintain a level of confidentiality. (at all times) However, if you so choose other avenues, sometimes anything goes including confidentiality out of the window. There are really know quick fixes for what it took years to un-glue in many persons lives. I know that I can’t save the world but sensitivity to any patients emotional pain should always be considered. So when I see others, almost going into an emotional oblivion, in the media, I simply cringe. Sometimes old wounds have not healed and we (as clinicians) have to always be careful when dealing with the pain of others. Know this, that real therapy may take months and sometimes even years but be sure to choose a therapist/doctor that is in it with you for the long haul.
Board Certified Psychiatrist