I’m not one of those “anything goes,” “if it feels good, do it” kind of therapists. I think to have meaningful interactions with other humans, we need to have integrity. We need to know where I end and you begin. We need to know the difference between right and wrong. We need a moral compass. This is what distinguishes us from animals- this ability to reason and think through the consequences of our actions…. how our choices impact those around us.
Trying to take morality out of the healing process doesn’t work. Where are we without a sense of who we are and what we stand for?
Honestly, this is probably why I don’t do marriage counseling. I could not sit there and listen to someone tell me about their infidelity and just be like, “Oh, that’s great, Becky. As long as you’re happy.”
I can’t do that.
Of course, I wouldn’t shame anyone. But, an exploration of choices would definitely be in order.
Here’s the thing: What are you looking for in a therapist? Someone to coddle you and approve of everything you say and do? Or, someone who challenges you, calls you to the carpet, and invites you to grow out of those old, ineffective coping skills?
That’s what I thought. Coddling doesn’t produce change. It only reinforces the negative behaviors that got us here in the first place. Real change is hard work. And it takes an honest support person (or network) who is not afraid to see you squirm- and work through your junk in a way that produces a more authentic you.
Even if that authentic you does not appreciate things like loyalty, honesty or respect. Because you see, in defining what is right and wrong for you, you have made an ethical judgement.
My immediate happiness is more important than my vow to my spouse.
Spending quality time with my kids is more important than an always-clean house.
Earning a lot of money is more important than following the law.
Conforming to my family of origin status quo is more important than speaking my truth.
Getting clear and living it out – whatever “it” is- takes hard work.
And, yes… morality.
Go be brave and strong, my friends- M
photo credit: pixabay (where else?!)
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog