Yesterday, October 10, was World Mental Health Day. As laudable as this campaign is towards much needed, greater recognition and acceptance, I have to ask, how can anxiety be tamed and not just coped with. And, in the context of that question, I was quite struck by a commentary appearing in the online publication, Independent. It’s title was “Why do we never talk about the harm that can be done by diagnosing someone with a mental illness?” Please click and read it, and then come back to this page.
This is the medical, psychological model: presenting issue/problem – history – diagnosis – treatment. Admittedly, it may do a lot of good in some cases. As the commentary points out, it may also do some harm. Please understand I’m not calling for this model to be jettisoned. Rather, I’m advocating a more, inclusive approach to the issues human beings have. To that end, consider this quotation from Italian psychotherapist, Piero Ferrucci’s Survival of the Kindest:
People who are suffering don’t need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions. They need sincere and complete empathy—attention. Once they have the feeling that the other person is putting themselves in their shoes, they are able to let go of their suffering and head down the path of healing. Attention—being completely available—may well be the most coveted gift. We silently hope that someone will want to do that for us. Pure attention is given without judgement and without advice. Attention is a type of friendliness and the lack thereof is the worst kind of rudeness. Attention is the means that allows us to let friendliness flow. Anyone who can’t give others attention, will never be friendly. Attention gives energy, while the lack of attention takes it away.
Actually, there is a process to support people that consists of these qualities of deep listening, attention, and caring. It’s the cornerstone of professional coaching, people are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Coaching can support people who want to get back in touch with this part of who they are.
What would it be like for you, or someone you know, to make friends with their anxiety and flourish in life, rather than just cope with it and survive?
It happened for me and it can happen for you too with my support. I live by the credo, be kind for we’re all fighting a hard battle. And, I’m a fully trained and certified coach. More important than selling my services is helping people who are suffering. If you want to find the answers to my question, reach out and let’s talk. See also this page.