by Mrs. Smith on June 28, 2018

Late night on facebook has its upsides and downsides. Last night it was 2 super-positive upsides. Tonight…. Downside. Big-time. Oops.

Well, except that it got me blogging and thinking and processing and learning from myself and (above all) writing, so that’s an upside.  Maybe.

WOW. Hello, Triggers!

Some mom posted in some group, asking for advice about an 8yo with separation anxiety.

No problems there. That’s the kind of thing I love facebook for. Use the herd, man. Find answers you don’t have. Learn from people. It’s great stuff.

The trigger kicked up when she went out of her way in this post to clarify that she as looking for suggestions that did NOT involve seeing a therapist or going to counseling. Because they “don’t have patience for that.” Because her husband also has a “get over it, you’re being irrational,” mindset.

Oooooh, that was the wrong thing for me to read tonight.

I appreciate her honesty and transparency… but…


So I had to sit there reminding myself that it’s okay that there are parents who don’t want anything to do with therapy or counseling. That’s not my business. There ARE other tools that might help this kid. It’s just a little “don’t leave me in this gymnastics class” phase. It’s fine.

I’ll be honest, though. I couldn’t help but think, “Heaven help you, I hope none of your kids ever deal with a legit “this REALLY needs therapy” issue! Because darned if some essential oil can replace a great psychologist, lady!!!”

(And I love essential oils. Don’t get me wrong here.)

I’m SO grateful that God put someone in my path who said exactly the right thing to help me get to the help I desperately needed but would NOT seek out because of the stigma around therapy… I’m even more grateful that a little ways down the road, I got a super awesome upgrade in the therapist department – twice. Totally lucked out there!

(In case you didn’t know, not all therapists are created equal, and masters-level counseling is NOT the same as doctorate-level therapy. It’s like a shoe — you gotta find something that fits you well or it just won’t work like it should/could.)

It was a bit of a mystery why that post hit such an intense level of ACK!!! in me. I had to do a little deep breathing and a little OMMMMMMMMMM and a little vent-writing to get to the bottom of it, but I got there eventually.

Here it is:

I suffered pretty intensely off and on for more than 10 years because of that “I should just get over it, this isn’t logical” mindset.

Her attitude as a parent super-bugged me because I was just like her.
Sort of.
At any rate, that belief that “counseling is a waste of time and you shouldn’t need it” REALLY didn’t serve me well, personally. It scares me to think of another family out there with kids being raised with an aversion to something so potentially good.

The world is REALLY messed up right now, y’all, in case you haven’t noticed. I mean, without even looking at mental health statistics or social stuff that contributes to the creation of severe depression/anxiety issues, just looking at sexual abuse statistics alone, we should be absolutely shattering the stigma around therapy. There’s enough shame created in the abuse itself; we don’t need to continue creating more shame around a tool that can help someone heal from it!


All of this leads me to one of my all-time favorite soapboxes, people.

I’ve pounded this one before, but I’mma pound it again. You ready?

The belief that the only “right” solutions come from medical doctors might not be serving you well, if that’s the mindset you’re coming from.

The belief that the only “right” solutions DON’T come from medical doctors ALSO might not be serving you well, if that’s the mindset you’re coming from!

That’s right. I intend to offend the hippies as well as the preppies.

All the things, guys. Open up to all the things!

Nutrition or herbs or energy work or therapy or essential oils or foot zoning or chiropractic or acupuncture or Reiki or physical therapy or guided imagery or hypnotherapy or meditation or neuro-link or neurofeedback or etc etc etc, in some combination, might work quite well for your difficult situation, in addition to (or potentially even instead-of) whatever awesome-sauce your medical doctor recommended.

Listen to your gut feeling and Figure. It. Out.
Or find professionals who can help you figure it out if you can’t.

Quick example from my family, 6 years ago:
Toddler with recurring ear infections.

Chiropractor helped some but it wouldn’t last long.
Antibiotics helped some but, again, it didn’t last long.
Days after the prescription ran out, boom. Ears congested again.
Toddler was starting to show speech delay. I didn’t know what else to do.

Traditional-medicine “sledgehammer” answer =
tubes in eardrums.

We’d done that with another kid before him, but something inside me felt like there was something else this one needed. Something different. I didn’t know where to look. It seemed we were going to need to go ahead with it… but then someone mentioned foot zoning and I gave it a try, cuz why not?

One foot zone treatment =
problem resolved itself within about 24 hours,
and it stayed solved.

It also lifted the depression this toddler had been under that I hadn’t known about — because, hello. Who knew babies could be depressed? Who knew toddlers could pick up heavy little burdens that keep them from enjoying life? I only figured it out when he woke up laughing and giggling and being all happy and “normal” the next day. I had never in his whole 18 months seen that happy-go-lucky side of him that is such an integral part of the personality that we all know and love now.

But that’s a different story.

So, hm. Which tool was the best one for that kid with that issue at that time?

As you might imagine, my mind was blown. That experience alone was enough to open my eyes to the truth that there is a LOT out there that your family practice doctor doesn’t know… but there are many other stories I could add to that one. Your psychiatrist doesn’t necessarily know what your therapist knows and your therapist doesn’t know what an endocrinologist knows, and they won’t know what a nutritionist knows and a nutritionist won’t know all that a homeopathic doctor knows, and the homeopathic doctor doesn’t know herbs like the herbalogist does…

ALL THE THINGS. Keep an open mind to all the things!

My policy now is: use a “sledgehammer” when it’s needed, without hesitation.
Don’t use it for things more appropriately solved with a more gentle tool.
Greatly value the professionals who are humble enough and smart enough to point you to other professionals that will bless your life.

God gave us all this knowledge and all of these amazing tools for a reason and it just plain makes sense to take advantage of ALL of them with wisdom, moderation, gratitude, compassion, and understanding.


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