About the Revolution . . .
I would like to think that my work as a private practitioner, educator, clinical supervisor, and regulator over the last quarter century has provided me a unique vantage point from which to observe and critique the evolution of my profession . . . And, oh, the changes I have seen over the last twenty-five years! The advent of managed care, licensure, academic standardization, and evidenced-based practice are just a few of the changes that have shaped the course of our development as an industry for the last quarter century.
But is the mental health profession evolving to a higher state? Can I say that we as independent non-medical mental health providers are better off than we were twenty-five years ago? I must confess that in my observation the answer to both these questions is a firm “no.” I have my concerns for the next generation of mental health professionals who must learn to ply their trade in a political, economic and professional environment that seems to grow more hostile with every passing year.
Why must this be so? Can we bring more intentionality to influencing the trends that are shaping our destiny as mental health practitioners? Can we together create a healthier culture not only for ourselves as professionals but also for consumers of our services? I believe we can and must if our profession is to maintain its vigor and relevance. Toward that end, I offer this website as a means of equipping us to identify significant trends in the evolution of our profession, challenge us as mental health practitioners to be catalysts for positive change, and provide us with the ways and means of “being” the change we want to see in our profession at large. That, brothers and sisters, is what being a WDIT is all about!
What does in mean to be a WDIT? My self-proclaimed designation as a “Witchdoctor-In-Training” is my way of embracing and proclaiming what for some is an uncomfortable truth—that we as practitioners of talk therapy have a greater ideological kinship with traditional folk healers than we do with the practitioners of molecular science. Because we claim relationship and the artful use of language as our only “medicine,” we have been marginalized by a mental health industry that envies modern medicine for its ability to "treat"--to dispassionately isolate variables, manipulate tissue and bone, and scientifically validate outcomes.
This marginalization has bred within us our own brand of “medical model envy” that has stunted our growth as professionals and delayed our evolution as healers. Ironically, our own jealousy of the “white coat” may be distracting us from valuing and cultivating the transformative elements that would allow us as non-medical mental health providers to demonstrate our imminent relevance to postmodern society and its ills.
I believe that an important first step in recreating a healthier culture for ourselves as talk therapists is the resolution of our own identity crisis. For our sake and the sake of future generations of mental health practitioners I believe it is time to embrace our roots, cast off medical model envy, and affirm our kinship with healing traditions that have been around for centuries—we have much to learn from them! Will you join me in this revolution?