I recently heard a story that struck me deeply as I considered it in the [...]
Recent research from the Salk Institute, Johns Hopkins, UC Irvine, and many other neuroscience research institutes, strongly supports the idea that physically, cognitively, and socially complex and challenging environments may have the power to actually heal neurological damage and stimulate brain change and growth.
Regardless of impressive advances in technology-based therapies, my own policy is to proceed with curiosityâ€¦and caution. For now, the only therapist Iâ€™ll stick in my own pocket is one who promises little things. Like some help falling asleep.
When faced with the serious issues that often drive family dysfunction, humor can seem out of place. But the next time you feel the urge to suppress a funny observation in the face of grave circumstances (or in the middle of family therapy), remember Abraham Lincolnâ€™s wise counsel to his Civil War colleagues: "Gentlemen, why don't you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night, if I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do." Then, go ahead and tell and you joke. It might be just what everyone needs.
Fear of losing control manifests often and early in family therapy, generally showing up as some form of resistance. What if I donâ€™t agree with the group? What if they judge me? Iâ€™m used to being the boss. Iâ€™m used to being invisible. Iâ€™m used to being the joker. I have my place and role and I know how to do itâ€”I feel in control, at least, of myself in that role. In short, Iâ€™m used to the way things areâ€”homeostasisâ€”even when â€œthe way things areâ€ is clearly not working.