Understanding Dise-ease in general
IN TIMES PAST, it was generally thought that only someone who was “crazy,” or someone who had a “nervous breakdown,” had reason to see a psychologist.
Today, psychologists still treat serious mental disorders, but they also can provide services for other reasons as well. Many of us today feel lost or empty in a world with a cultural emphasis on superficiality and immediate gratification. In fact, a healthy, meaningful, and spiritual life should be the core of human existence. Anyone can benefit from psychological services that enhance and maintain physical and mental health, and that promote honesty and intimacy in daily life.
Problems and Symptoms
Even though everyone could benefit from psychological guidance, not everyone wants to see a psychologist. Here’s why some people need psychological help.
Let’s begin by defining the nature of a problem. A problem exists when there is a discrepancy between what you are doing and what you would like to be doing.
If you can put things into concrete terms as clear as that, then not only do you know you have a problem, but you are already on the way to solving it as well. And you probably don’t need professional help.
Sometimes, however, there can be complications that interfere with your ability to solve your own problems:
It may happen that despite your best intentions to change things, you still can’t make any progress. In psychological language, you have encountered an unconscious block to your progress. With the help of a psychologist you can get over a block like this.
It might also happen that you simply feel vaguely dissatisfied with your life, but you can’t get a clear sense of what the problem is. In this case you might consult a psychologist to help define the problem. Once the problem is clearly defined, you might be able to proceed on you own, or you might discover an unconscious block as well.
The good news is that once you have learned this basic strategy for defining and solving problems, you aren’t likely to need professional help any more.
Unfortunately, if a problem cannot be solved cleanly and simply, it can turn into a symptom. A symptom is an illusion created by your unconscious to hide from yourself the ugly truth of your own life.
Many persons try to “get rid” of symptoms by drowning them with work, with entertainment, with sexuality, and with substances (such as food, or alcohol, or drugs). But, ironically, these things only cause more problems that usually degenerate into more symptoms. The only genuine solution for a symptom is to do the hard psychological work necessary to face up to the truth of your life that you so desperately fear.