Psychotherapy Networker magazine (March/April 2013) focuses on Clinical Wisdom. Even the editor admits that this is unlikely to grab attention, but the articles make for fascinating reading even if you aren’t a counselor.
Our entire culture is in a rush. We know that. There is no time to pause, to think, to reflect. Networker editor Richard Simon suggests that “we keep busy just to avoid thinking seriously about where we are, what we’re about, and—most dreadful of questions—why we’re doing whatever we’re doing.” Often we seem to have no alternative. Therapists are “consumed by hurry and distractions, shallow questions and quick answers, short attention spans and chronic restlessness,” wrapped in a focus on evidence-based techniques that aim to eliminate symptoms and move us on to the next client. Many have referral sources to cultivate, website traffic and email messages to handle, paper work to meet insurance requirements, marketing plans to revise, tax and licensure standards to fulfill and professional obligations to meet. It’s worse with students swamped with busywork from professors, writing standards to master, papers to write, finding internship sites, meeting the requirements from academia, accrediting agencies and sometimes too-busy professors or supervisors. Shift to leadership and business and we see a leading magazine titled Fast Company. Even churches become activity mills; the same for families. Gone is the “capacity for insight, compassion, reflection, and full presence that’s the real source of healing” and wisdom.
Where do we find wisdom, genuine sensitivity, rest and the human interaction that builds quality into our lives? How do believers find time to be still and know God? (Psalm 46:10.) Too often we push until our bodies scream for quiet and sometimes shut down. How can we be genuine people-builders in the midst of such chaos?
Issues like this are easier to describe than to resolve. Calming down is rarely automatic in a hyperactive, stimulus-saturated environment. We need quiet places and deliberate time away to reflect, pray, seek God’s guidance and experience divine peace. Many of us must determine to eliminate hurry from our lives, learn to set limits, cultivate concern for others, find support from friends, and reflect on experiences that build calmness and wisdom.
This is difficult for me. How do you do this? Please comment.