I’m a practitioner – am I a fraud if I cry?

I’m a practitioner – am I a fraud if I cry?

The stigma in today’s society re ‘mental health’ is significantly concerning. So much so, that some people even class expressing their emotions as being a ‘mental case’.

I’m sure we have all heard the phrases when someone is having an emotional outburst ...

  • "Oh they're being a bit mental or a mental case" ... or

  • "What a sookie" "crybaby" etc ... all comments that are intended to make the expression of how a person is feeling ‘wrong’.

If expression of your emotions is wrong for the general public, can you imagine how ‘wrong’ it must feel for a mental health practitioner to express how they feel?

  • I’m meant to have it all together – I’m a fraud if I cry ... or

  • I’m meant to be the one who fixes others – how can I do that if I can’t even fix myself? ... or

  • it’s wrong for me to cry, if I can’t suck it up, I must be a fraud

This approach is a guaranteed formula for mental health burnout in mental health practitioners – some even consider mental health burnout to be an epidemic!

  • Why, as a society, do we see it as a sign of weakness if people are to truly express how they feel?
  • Why do we see this as something that needs to be stopped or fixed?
  • We make physical illness something that is acceptable, yet we struggle ourselves when someone else cries.
  • Have you ever wondered why this is so?

Consider the following possibilities:

  • What comes in must come out
  • The world, although it can be amazing, has many parts that can feel hurtful. It is not uncommon to hear people bickering with each other, see people mistreat each other and, generally speaking, there is a lot of ‘loveless’ behaviours we see, hear and feel on a daily basis. The world can hurt!
  • If everything that comes in must come out, we can then assume that EVERY SINGLE one of these hurts we experience are first felt and then stored in our body ... unless we learn differently! The hurt comes in ... and then ...
  • Each one of these hurts must one day come out! In the interim the hurt remains stored in our body festering in its storage pot – our body.
  • Yet as a general rule people live believing it is a sign of weakness to express how you feel about these hurts – this does not make sense.

It does not make sense to leave the hurt in our body and not provide the means to allow it to come out.

How would our population be if we all learnt to express our hurts when they come into our body, allowing the hurt to immediately come out of our body?

Recently, I had a conversation with a person who did not want to return to their position as a mental health practitioner because they had had an emotional meltdown. They expressed that it was a sign of weakness and they would feel like a fraud if they returned to their workplace.

This does not make sense: A mental health practitioner stating that it is a sign of weakness for them to express their own unexpressed emotions? The sad thing is ... I have heard this same statement so many times ... I even used to use it myself!

If as practitioners it is important to live what we teach, is it possible that a contributing factor to our rise in mental illness in all parts of society and our rise in mental health burnout in mental health practitioners, is a result of the harming belief that many mental health practitioners live by? That, "Expressing how you feel is a sign of weakness."

Mental Health practitioners are people who are all exposed to the same world and the same hurts and the same loveless behaviours as everyone else. It is being a fraud to NOT express feelings associated with these hurts!

A truly supportive mental health practitioner Will Live What They Teach. If the practitioner ignores and buries how they feel they will teach their clients to do the same – thus leaving the hurts to fester in their body

Or

If the practitioner honours, acknowledges and expresses how they feel, they will teach their clients to do the same through the way they live – thus clearing their body of hurts.

The true mental health practitioner does express – and even cries when needed! If this was lived – there would be minimal mental health burnout in mental health practitioners.

Filed under

EmotionsPractitionerMental healthBurnout

  • By Tanya Curtis, Author, Behavioural Specialist, Assoc Dip Ed. (Child Care), BHlthSci. (BehMgt), MBehMgt, MCoun

    Tanya is dedicated to supporting people to understand and change their unwanted behaviours and live their full potential. Tanya’s deep care and love of people shines through all of the initiative she dedicates herself to.