Shrink Rap: To Inner Space and Beyond

It’s a crazy world out there. You don’t need a shrink to tell you that. So here’s the big question: Is it possible to be sane in a crazy world?

Yes. But there are times when sanity needs a little help. That’s what going to a shrink is about.

It isn’t the job of a shrink to wrap your brain in plastic to protect it from contagious emotions that come from the emotionally sick culture we live in. It isn’t the job of a shrink to make your crazy-making problems smaller.

Among other things, it is the job of a shrink to help you discover what is crazy and what is not. Among other things, it is the job of a shrink to help you separate healthy thoughts and feelings from unhealthy ones. Let’s face it: There are times in all our lives when healthy actions seem unhealthy and unhealthy actions seem healthy. There are times in all our lives when we like ourselves and times when we despise ourselves. There are times when we like the friends and families we are stuck with and times when we hate their guts.

Perfectly normal. But crazy-making.

Enter Shrink Rap. This column is not a substitute for going to a shrink when you need to. And it is not a place for self-help-inspired spiritual bypasses or emotional shortcuts. You will never read anything like “Ten Steps to Perfect Happiness (And White Teeth)” in this space.

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in Shrink Rap:

Timely ways to frame timeless issues that pop up in the news. What does news of Penn State and the alleged sexual abuse of children trigger in the general public and, in particular, those who have been sexually abused? How can we help teens grieve the deaths of a carful of local teenagers at the wheel of a drunk driver?
Profiles of various ways to be a shrink or to be shrunk. What is the difference between psychology and psychiatry? What is psychotherapy? Psychoanalysis? Life coaching? Dialectical behavioral therapy? Depth psychology? Play therapy? How does a humanistic-oriented shrink differ from a cognitive-behavioral-oriented shrink? What about this thing called “mindfulness”?
Spotlighting common issues shrinks and their clients deal with every day—healthy emotional boundaries, anger, fear, depression, anxiety, responsible communication, guilt, unhealthy caretaking.
Responding to the occasional question, concern or observation from readers. Hey, this space is for you.
Bottom line: The work of a shrink may not be rocket science, but it can help each of us explore the incredible adventure that is our lives. Exploring the outer space of planets and galaxies isn’t for sissies. But exploring the inner space of feelings and thoughts takes a courage and persistence that even Mars-bound astronauts will someday envy.

Start the countdown. Shrink Rap is ready for blast-off.

To Inner Space…and beyond!

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