Sunday, February 23, 2020

Comments by Norbert A. Wetzel, ThD, MFT

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • Hi, Alex and Someone Else,
    Your comments reminded me again how much interpersonal and social trauma and pain is hidden underneath the phenomena called “mental illnesses” by the “industry” constructed by bio-psychiatry and pharmaceutical corporations. Thank you for letting some of your personal history shine through.
    I am more and more convinced that, first, the people who have survived the traumata leading to “psychiatric symptoms” need to talk to others with similar experiences, form groups and advocate for each other, as you do. That is healing. If people from the therapeutic professions are willing to join, not as professionals, but as people who also went through suffering, they should be welcome.
    A second step could and should be to open our minds/hearts for people around us who have experienced pain and injustice (often over generations) on account of their race, gender, diversity, sexual identity, unsurmountable poverty etc. etc. “Psychiatric Survivors” are only one group of oppressed people in our society. Popular outrage, active advocacy, and joining hands with and for the others will help these others to change their conditions and will deepen and broaden our humanity.

    It’s good to reflect on these matters on M.L. King’s day.

  • Hello, BPDTransformation and Kallena,
    Thank you so much for your comments. It is certainly true that on the side of psychologists there are many, particularly psychoanalysts, who focus on intersubjectivity in their conceptual and clinical work. I probably should have been more specific here and not spoken in such general terms. (Originally, I had a longer footnote that somehow disappeared. :). So thank you both for broadening the perspective. By the way, even S. Freud was much more focused on a relational perspective, at least with some of his younger clients, than we are aware.
    I know it is difficult to be hopeful about a fundamental and broad change in the so-called “mental health system”. But I trust that the people having gone through these difficult experiences will find the strengths to connect with others and will eventually create a movement for change. In conversations, I have begun to listen not only to the traumata of the past, but also to others’ visions of the future and what I hear makes me hopeful.
    Again, thanks.

  • Hi, Someone Else, Fiachra, and Alex,
    I thank you for appreciating my post and for commenting.
    In similar ways you are pointing out how crucial it is and was for you to listen to yourself and to follow your intuitive conviction that your experience was valid, unique, and precious. In a relational perspective both is enhanced: Being related to an Other (partner, child, group, community) and growing as a Self, as a person. It is as isolated people that we end up with professional helpers who rely on instruments, instead of relationships.