Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recovery as a Journey of the Heart

From Windows Live:

Presented at "Recovery from Psychiatric Disability: Implication for the training of mental health professionals"

...There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom....

In a
similar fashion we pass on knowledge about mental illness. Students
emerge from school with knowledge about neurotransmitters and
schizophrenics and bipolars and borderlines and multiples and OCD's.
They become experts in recognizing illness and disease. But this is
where we so often fail them. We fail them because we have not taught
them to seek wisdom-to move beyond mere recognition in order to seek
the essence of what is. We have failed to teach them to reverence
the human being who exists prior to and in spite of the diagnosis we
have placed upon them. Just as the generic, anatomical heart does not
exist, neither does "the schizophrenic" or "the multiple" or the
"bi-polar" exist outside of a generic textbook. What exists, in teh
truly existential sense, is not an illness or disease. What exists is a
human being and wisdom demands that we see and reverence this human
being before all else. Wisdom demands that we whole heartedly enter
into a relationship with human beings in order to understand them and
their experience. Only then are we able to help in a way that is
experienced as helpful.

hose of us who have been labled with mental illness are first and foremost
human beings. We are more than the sum of the electro-chemical activity
of our brain. Our hearts are not merely pumps. Our hearts are as real
and as vulnerable and valuable as yours are. We are people. We are
people who have experienced great distress and who face the challenge
of recovery.


The concept of recovery is rooted in teh simple yet profound
realization that people who have been diagnosed with mental illness are
human beings. Like a pebble tossed
into the center of a still pool, this simple fact radiates in ever
larger ripples until every corner of the academic and applied mental
health science and clinical practice are effected. Those of us who have
been diagnosed are not objects to be acted upon. We are fully human
subjects who can act and in acting, change our situation. We are human
beings and we can speak for ourselves. We have become self-determining.
We can take a stand toward what is distressing to us and need not be
passive victims of an illness. We can become experts in our own journey
of recovery....

For More...

No comments: