The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Special Report: Mental Health

May 27, 2012

Suffering in Silence, Part 2: Denial, wishful thinking fuel stigma

(Continued)

ST PETER —

Schaefer doesn’t relish acknowledging that he hears voices but was willing to discuss it to help people understand that it does not mean he is violent or out of control.

When he hears them, he tries to think: “Today is their day; tomorrow will be mine.”

In his seminal book, “The Road Less Traveled,” author and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explains why he believes seeing a therapist is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It is worth quoting at length.

No act is more unnatural, and hence more human, than the act of entering psychotherapy. For by this act we deliberately lay ourselves open to the deepest challenge from another human being, and even pay the other for the service of scrutiny and discernment. ... It is because they possess this courage, on the other hand, that many psychoanalytic patients, even at the outset of therapy and contrary to their stereotypical image, are people who are basically much stronger and healthier than average.”

 

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Special Report: Mental Health