Old School Psychotherapy

Once upon a time, people perceived the wisdom of pausing to take stock. Once upon a time, a careful reconsideration of our own psychology was thought to be essential for true maturation. It was a given that one could not be entirely objective about oneself hence, people sought counsel from village elders, spiritual counselors and, counselors whose life path permitted in-depth analysis of the complexity of mind.

In the 1950’s, a medical juggernaut appeared on the scene with an extraordinary menu of ‘medications’ purporting to lessen psychological pain and discomfort. It would appear that the medications (or belief in the efficacy of the medications) do indeed lessen pain and discomfort. However, now, difficulties that in past years inspired introspection, have been labeled a ‘medical problem’ warranting drug treatments.

We abandon the pause to take stock at our peril. The mobilization of our mental wherewithal cannot occur without entertaining the idea that perhaps, it would be to our benefit to rethink some things or that perhaps, it might be to our benefit to rethink everything!

Red Pill?

The term to ‘red pill’ has become commonplace in public conversations. The origin of the term is from an admittedly disturbing film, The Matrix. I am not recommending the film. In the film, those that take the red pill come to see, that much of what they believed was true was in fact untrue.

These days the term is bandied about as many folks come to doubt the intentions of media personalities they’ve relied upon for information. And, as evidence of the misdeeds of many people in power have been exposed to the light of day, the trust that most people have had that things are moving along ‘well enough’ has been lost.

That people are being forced to rethink their assumptions is inherently a good thing, however, it can be psychologically destabilizing. When one begins to follow the trail ‘down the proverbial rabbit hole,’ one can feel adrift in a sea of confusion.

The trick is to find your footing while remaining open to the possibility that you must indeed abandon one world view as you formulate another. Think of the world of science. It has frequently become necessary for scientists to adapt to new conceptions of reality. They do so and historically, that process has given rise to tremendous progress.

Psychologically, we can ‘be as the scientist.’ We can adapt to new conceptions of reality. Indeed, we are wired to do this. To do so however, requires humility, careful consideration of new information and the cultivation of a science-mind, one which entertains the idea that they might be mistaken and continuously listens and learns.

A side effect? One is never bored and frequently amazed.