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  • Writer's pictureMaegan Kenney

The Dark Side of Psychiatric Medications Within the Therapeutic Space

It may sound synonymous...a person struggling with their mental health gets prescribed psychiatric medications to alleviate symptoms and therefore embarks on the search for a therapist.

However, do we ever consider the role of that the therapist must play in these kinds of situations? If someone needs to take a medication to help them manage their mental health symptoms, it means they are unable to carry this suffering consciously at this moment in time. It usually indicates that their life has become too unmanageable and stressful in it's demands that consistently pile up with no outlet. The person pulls in the aid and support of the medication. But what happens to the suffering then? Does it disappear?

That's where the therapist comes in. If we are unable (or unwilling) to carry our suffering consciously, it means someone else has to step up to the plate and carry it for us. If the carrier had dedicated their lives to bearing the burden for others and holds this role with confidence, steadiness, and grace, the client has found a rare gift.

Most empaths want to alleviate the suffering of others and often find themselves drawn to that role only to end up burntout and resentful. This means that the empath is carrying the burden with resistance. Their fears drive them to resist getting swallowed up by another's suffering, but the empathy in them keeps them walking this painful cycle.

In this situation, there is only one of two ways for the therapist: surrender and carry the burden with meaning and purpose, or don't carry it all assist the traveler (or wanderer) in holding it themselves.

For many therapists, this paradoxical dilemma remains largely unresolved. Many "shoulds" play over in the mind about what a therapist is "supposed" to do.

My take? Work from a place of inspiration. If you are inspired to carry the burden of the other and can do so without resentment, then lean on in. If you are inspired to teach the other how to carry their suffering consciously, express your teachings through that frame, and that frame only, without any mixed messages. In order to know which path is yours, you must first know what you are called here to do on this Earthly plane. Ask yourself what feeds you, and go from there.

An empowered therapist is a healing therapist, for themselves, the other, and the collective at large.

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