Mental Health Monday: Carl, Counseling, Culture and Context

Freud often gets a reputation as being a perv. Keep in mind he was dealing with wealthy, Victorian women who were stuffy, so sexual issues were repressed and not often discussed.

Also consider American culture when Rogerian theory was tested and arrived as influential.  Children were to be “seen and not heard.” Authoritarianism was the norm.  Politicians, parents, church leaders were generally obeyed and respected.  For a client to sit in the chair and be totally accepted and allowed to say, think, feel whatever they honestly felt was drastically new and innovative. People desperately needed that.

What about now?  What about subsequent generations?

Saw a lot of TV about the Kennedy assassination because of the 50th anniversary.  Many view that as a turning point in American history towards cynicism and pessimism.  Definitely the Vietnam era saw rebellion and revolution become a norm.  Authority and Authoritarianism took some big hits in the 60s and 70s.  The period from the Dealey Plaza to Watergate saw revolutionary, societal change in American.

So now we have a few generations raised in a more lassez-faire atmosphere as far as parenting is concerned.  Instead of being seen and not heard, the spotlight landed directly on the youth of our families and culture. Authority–whether governmental, church, or parental–is not as respected as in Rogers day.

So what about these people? Maybe some boomers, but definitely the more recent generations? Will they respond to “unconditional positive regard” as well as previous generations? Some will suggest they have already received too much of it. Will they need more direction because of the lack of direction given during their upbringing?

I don’t have answers, just some thoughts I wanted to share. I do believe that culture has a great impact.

What do you think?


Mental Health Monday: The Spectrum of Mental Health

Most are familiar with discussing the Autism Spectrum and how there are different levels, varying degrees of impairment.

Much of mental health is like that.  That’s we why often joke about having certain disorders like OCD or ADHD.  We can relate to some of the symptoms. We are all broken and have various struggles but that doesn’t mean we can relate to someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder. I cringe whenever I hear someone judge a depressed person based upon one’s own minor and situational depression experience.

Here are some examples of behaviors on the low end of a spectrum and the correlating disorder. You might experience some level of these symptoms without having a disorder.

Perfectionism, workaholism –> Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

being rude, a jerk –> Antisocial Personality Disorder

being selfish and uncaring –> Narcissistic Personality Disorder

being clingy, needy –> Dependent Personality Disorder

being shy and having low self-esteem –> Avoidant Personality Disorder

being a drama queen –> Histrionic Personality Disorder

having ups and downs, good days and bad –> Bipolar Disorder

being jealous or suspicious –> Delusional Disorder/Paranoid Personality Disorder

We want to be sympathetic, ideally empathetic, but we must be careful about thinking we understand other people’s problems.

Sympathy is understanding how you would feel if in the other person’s situation, but is still self-focused.

Empathy is truly understanding how the other person feels in his/her situation. It is other-focused.

If you are not struggling as severely as someone else, don’t judge, just Praise God and be grateful!

Coming Soon! Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Well, the book.  Well….a review/discussion of the book by Peter Scazzero.

I am a couple of chapters in and fascinated. I believe it is vital information for church leaders and Christians. It combines two of my favorite topics: faith/spirituality and mental health in a very challenging yet clear way.

As a hard-working, sincere pastor, Peter Scazzero finally recognized that he had no joy, he was angry, bitter, and depressed, and his wife was miserable to the point of quitting his church because of him.

He says, “while I sincerely loved Jesus Christ and believed many truths about him, I was an emotional infant unwilling to look at my immaturity.”

The author dealt with ministry burn-out and unhappiness until taking a long look at some pre-conceived myths that were hurting his faith, marriage, and church after many years of ministry.

I highly recommend THE BOOK and will be reading and blogging about it here.