Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fixing the Fixes

In the therapy business relationships are where it's at, where all the action is. Many may be searching for quick and easy fixes, and certainly the airwaves are selling this pharma-illusion, but this is clearly not where the real action is aside from its relevance in a few circumstances. Roger Greenberg (2014) has cogently articulated the many ways medications fall short or don't actually do any heaving lifting at all. He describes outcomes which are essentially based on what people believe, expect, and want to happen, oftentimes all in the absence of making any real or lasting changes in behavior or circumstances. Which is uncomfortable at best.

Real and lasting change involves discomfort and human beings, being the social creatures we are, need contact with and support from other human beings in that process. That is the true gift of psychotherapy, especially when accompanied by an accurate ear and posture toward the sufferer. I don't believe that any technological advance will ever change this reality, or if it does we will have become automatons. In this world full of strife and fear we all crave connection more than anything else, at least that has been my professional experience.

But searching for, establishing, persisting with, and paying for this connection (even if only with our time) is costly. It is an investment of monumental proportions. And so is its outcome: positive changes which stick and further, lead to other positive changes and, ultimately, more contentment and joy.

It is exactly like putting a new roof on your house as opposed to patching the leaks. When you are tempted by patches, DON'T BUY THEM, no matter what kind of window dressing or "science" is wrapped around them. Invest instead in yourself and those around you.