|Symposium 2012 Linda Bacon Etienne Wenger Anxiety CE Comments Attachment Theory The Future of Psychotherapy Couples Therapy Attachment Great Attachment Debate Gender Issues Future of Psychotherapy Mindfulness Mary Jo Barrett Narcissistic Clients Alan Sroufe Challenging Cases Wendy Behary Trauma Brain Science David Schnarch Ethics Community of Excellence Men in Therapy Diets Clinical Mastery Mind/Body Couples William Doherty Clinical Excellence|
|Fostering the Moral Imagination - Page 7|
We therapists hope that we've been useful. We want the dad to stop hitting the mom, the teenager to overcome her eating disorder, and the teacher to stop drinking. But, both with writing and therapy, if we care so much that we lose sight of what's happening moment-by-moment, we'll fail.
Writers and therapists are coaches for authenticity, teachers of empathy, inspirers of curiosity and good works, and proselytizers for openness, kindness, and clarity. We have the best work in the world: we help people do what my grandmother said was everyone's life work--to make good use of their time and their talents.
"You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. . . . The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it." James Baldwin
A few years ago, I visited a market on the Burmese border. It was a profoundly unsettling experience. I walked past frightened, impoverished people hawking Leonardo DiCaprio beach towels, dried fish, Nike knockoffs, and counterfeit cigarettes. Old women with no teeth sat behind piles of peppers or rice. Listless children with dead eyes lay on ragged blankets behind their parents' stalls, or sat watching shoppers walk by. Police grabbed a skinny teenager, beat him, and tossed him into a black van. His mother ran after the van, screaming and pulling her hair. Everyone in this tawdry market seemed almost comatose with grief and inertia. Gradually, I realized the underlying cause of what I was witnessing--a total absence of hope.