Do you ever wonder why although so much of our tax dollars go to government programs to resolve society's problems, things seem to be getting worse? Are you appalled while reading the papers or listening to the news because you do not understand why so many adults and children are hurting themselves and others? Possibly the main reason why many of our programs have failed, why abuse is so widespread, is because society has been focusing on the symptoms and not the causes. As a former high school teacher and psychotherapist, I am convinced that the causes of most of our problems are the inability to constructively deal with our emotions. Our schools focus mainly on the mind and somewhat on the physical body. But no experts teach how to constructively deal with feelings. The effect on the individual and society has been painful, sad and destructive.
As a practicing psychotherapist, I discovered that many people stuff their feelings with food and struggle with the "Battle of the Bulge". Others numb their emotions with drugs, or "drown" them with alcohol. Many clients were able to overcome their addictions, only after they learned how to deal with their feelings. One can add the suffix "aholic" to any activity we overdo in order to avoid feelings. Some examples are: workaholic, sportsaholic, "runaholic", "televisionaholic", "readaholic", "parentaholic", and "sexaholic". Once clients faced their feelings, they were able to have a more balanced life and no longer felt driven.
Other serious symptoms of the inability to constructively deal with feelings include the high incidence of depression, disease, accidents, suicide, homicide, child abuse, rape, and divorce. Focusing on the cause, their unexpressed feelings, I was able to help people live healthier and safer lives, and prevent some of the more serious symptoms, such as suicide or the violation of others. Constructively dealing with our feelings, self-esteem, and communication needs to be a Number One priority in our society.
When we can help people raise their self-esteem, take responsibility for all their emotions, and communicate in a positive way, we will be resolving society's many problems. Think of all the money we can save when we focus on the causes of the problems instead of the symptoms. Think of all the pain we can avoid. Prevention programs are much more effective. For example, we can provide required classes in dealing with feelings, self-esteem, and communication from kindergarten up, and relationship and parenting classes in high school and college.
Another suggestion is to require a minimum of ten hours of premarital counseling, which includes parenting skills, before people can obtain a marriage certificate. These classes can also be available for single and married adults. We can include in teacher training programs required classes in how to help students communicate, raise their self-esteem, and deal with their feelings.
Testing teachers on their level of communication skills and self-esteem would help us be confident that the students will have a healthy model, which is one way they learn. Medical schools can offer required classes on how to recognize and to address patients' emotional issues (besides mental illness), and to know when to refer them to the appropriate mental health professional. Doctors can also be informed about the emotional causes of diseases, and how to treat the whole person. Psychotherapists' training programs can offer required classes on how to help their clients constructively release their emotions, resolve their problems, communicate and raise their self-esteem. If you like any of the above suggestions or have some of your own, talk to others, write to the appropriate people.
What you do or say does make a difference! Focus on raising your self-esteem, improving your communication, and dealing constructively with your feelings. Be the person you would like others to be. It is time to solve our problems. It is time for you, your children, your loved ones, and everyone to live in a healthy, happy, safe society.
Copyright 2006 by Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. Her new book is, "ALL YOU NEED IS HART!". She offers phone sessions, teleclasses, books, e-books, MP3 audios, tapes, posters, independent studies, and a free newsletter. http://www.lovetopeace.com , 1-888-639-6390.