My Journey to the Edge
Or Why I Gave Up Fame, Fortune, & a Really Cool Lab Coat with my Name Embroidered on it for the Sake of Beauty
MY DECISION EARLY ON in my career to become a family therapist rather than a psychiatrist or psychologist had nothing to do with any personal doubt about my ability to cope with the rigors of medical school or the tedium of a doctoral program in clinical psychology.
In those early years, I was already being stirred by a desire to be a healer of hearts instead of a “mover of molecules across semi-permeable membranes.” I knew I wanted to see people wholly and holy --not filtered, fragmented, trivialized, or constrained by the preconceptions and limitations cast by a DSM diagnosis or the numbers crunched on a computer printout from a battery of standardized tests. I wanted to see that Glorious Dance-- people “in motion” as they interacted with each other in relationship.
Even then, my intuition told me that diagnoses rooted in pathology--the foundation of psychiatric practice-- were like vulgar graffiti splashed over the beautiful, rich, fluid complexity that is the human heart in relationship. I wanted to behold that beauty every day in my work--unobscured and untainted.
That is why I chose to become a family therapist.
As I began my journey I soon discovered that family therapists were not afforded the most prestige or paid the highest fees. I am now absolutely sure that I sacrificed a considerable amount of both when I made the decision that I wouldn’t wear a white coat to work every day. But oh, that Dance! To have had the privilege of being a part of the life stories of so many! To have witnessed the beautiful things that have unfolded in my office in the last twenty-five years that I would not have had eyes to see if it not been for my unique training as a family therapist! Believe me--I wouldn’t trade that gift for all the prestige and money in the world. To my mentors, trainers, and supervisors, I am forever grateful and indebted.
SO THIS LITTLE WEBSITE IS DEDICATED to all of you out there who, as you were reading the paragraphs above, could nod with a Buddha smile; and especially to you wide-eyed rebels who are just beginning your journeys as healers. Should you choose to continue along the Healer's Path, you will most likely meet with marginalization by the mental health profession and even opposition from mental health professionals. But do not let this discourage you! Instead, revel in it--and you will discover for yourself why the witchdoctor always lives at the edge of town. I have made a life there.
Enjoy my blog and the articles I have chosen for you, children! Please comment freely and stay in touch. If there is anything I can do to help you in your journey to the edge, let me know!
BIG LOVE--TM, WDIT