Happiness and misery are often intensified by what they are compared against. This parable of a poor villager's visit with a wise man illustrates how an emotional outlook can be influenced by a change in perspective.
The most effective counseling and psychotherapy almost always involves intimate, safe and meaningful conversation. It's a great privilege between therapist and client to experience the insight, relief and joy that comes from a deep and profoundly significant conversation that has never before taken place with anyone else.
Gaining experience, strength and hope from other people who are in a similar situation is a wonderfully effective way to reduce shame, gain self-acceptance and enhance motivation for continued growth. Nobody likes to feel they are the only one with a problem. Finding other people with similar struggles who are at various stages of their own recovery journey provides a sense of shared understanding that has a value beyond measure.
Psychiatric diagnoses are attempts to organize and describe difficulties in a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors in a coherent fashion that can influence treatment decisions. Although important in many ways, the very act of applying a diagnosis to the complex workings of the human experience can be limiting, discriminatory and misleading. This article describes the kinds of problems that are inevitable when using diagnoses for treatment and insurance purposes.