Illness: The medical model can be pernicious when it comes to mental health. It is somehow comforting and easier for a Therapist to imagine a “patient” as ill or suffering from a disease like depression or anxiety, or a personality disorder or addiction. If you come to me after receiving a medical diagnosis, we can work together, and the diagnosis might help in our work, but it will not define you or our work.
Wellness: A concept of wellness frames my practice. Every one of us is doing the best we can and my role is to contribute to that becoming better: more satisfying, rewarding, healthy and happy. Life is about relationship and your life can be better. This applies to every one of us, and more strongly to those of us having trouble with pain, resentment, anger, rage, hostility, hatred, sadness, depression, regret, anxiety, grief, frustration, irritation, shame, blame, guilt, jealousy, envy, fear, despair, doubt, apathy, immobilization or any of the emotions that run inside of us that we are having trouble regulating at any particular here and now.
Life can be better for any one of us suffering from loss, disappointment, failure, neglect, abuse, loneliness, separation, divorce, rejection, addiction, lack of meaning, emptiness, victimization, grandiosity, arrogance, narcissism, or anything that prevents us from growth, keeping us stuck in some way of living or repeating patterns we’d rather change or open up to pleasure, fun, curiosity, interest, empathy, gratitude, hope, pride, awe, wonder, pleasure, love, joy, intimacy and authentic action.
Even if you are mired in darkness and despair, you have the potential for at least some more of the good stuff. When you are able to pursue that, and live in more of it, as well as reducing, managing, limiting or eliminating any tyranny that the bad stuff might hold over you, then you have more wellness.
Sex and money and physical health come in to this too, and wellness usually involves all of these in satisfying proportions. We can work on that.