“If there is one lesson that I have learned during my life as an analyst, it is the lesson that what my patients tell me is likely to be true – that many times when I believed that I was right and my patients were wrong, it turned out, though often only after a prolonged search, that my rightness was superficial, whereas their rightness was profound.”
We live in a society that places tremendous value on degrees, fancy titles, and specialization. When the average person is diagnosed with a mental health issue or medical issue it can seem most prudent to place the responsibility for care and recovery on the shoulders of the professionals. After all, they have the experience and the knowledge.
But you have wisdom about your own life and situation that an outside observer cannot rival and on a deep level you know what’s best for you. If you have been diagnosed with an issue of any kind it’s essential that you become a specialist in this area. Read everything you can about it. Ask questions and never settle for superficial answers. Forget about degrees and titles. The only way to be able to advocate for yourself is to combine the deep wisdom you already have with practical expertise that you can learn.
Any good therapist will tell you that at the end of counseling you will hopefully have increased feelings of freedom and responsibility. The best way to do this is to constantly advocate for yourself and to make sure you know as much or more about your set of issues as the professional you are working with.
Read all you can, believe in yourself and your ability to be an expert in your own life, and don’t place the responsibility for your well-being on the shoulders of someone else. Let a professional be a knowledgeable guide as you scale the mountain, but don’t let that professional carry you up. You’ve got to do the hard work yourself.