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Young People … Our Greatest Resource

A Familiar Strain Might Ease the Pain

As a psychologist, I was trained to work with patients where THEY were, which included helping them with their emotional/behavioral baggage without loading them up with mine. That’s not a bad precept.

One of the toughest areas for a therapist involves spirituality and religion because this aspect of faith can build (hope) or tear down (shame). People have been both supported and damaged by religion for eons. “Tread carefully” is the therapeutic message.

Tough on Himself

I had a patient, an elderly gentleman living in a nursing home. He wanted me to know he was a born-again Christian. The problem was that he ruminated on every mistake he ever made in his life. He beat himself up continuously. It was painful to watch him do it.

One day he sank in his wheelchair and dropped his head as he mumbled against himself. On a whim, I reached back and started singing the first hymn many young child learn:

“Jesus love me, this I know …”

He started singing with me as he slowly lifted his head. Tears were streaming down his face, but he was smiling for the first time in months. We finished the song; he said, “Sing it again.”

We did.

A Difference Made

You know, I’m not suggesting that I initiated any miracle here; the “lift” it provided for him was most likely temporary. But it made a difference to him in THAT moment. And, in many ways, aren’t our lives moment to moment?

Sometimes a familiar strain might ease the pain … if only for a while. And that’s good news for children of ANY age.

James Sutton, Psychologist

October 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You made the right decision at the right time. Thanks for sharing. We need to understand that today is all there is and that all that went before is forgiven if we decide to forgive ourselves.


    Comment by tobeme | October 18, 2008 | Reply

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