Palm Springs, CA. USA
In professional circles my name is; Dr. Johann Hampton-Wagener, BA, MS, PhD. My acquaintances call me “Doc.” My friends (and those that pretend to like me) call me “Johann”. I've also been called many other names that I’d prefer not to list here.
My degree(s) were in Education and Psychology, from both a counseling and clinical perspective. I spent a few decades “practicing” in “shrinking” people who I had assured was the only way to growth. An oxymoron if there ever was one. I should add that this was a two-way process in that the patients taught me everything I know about "mental health".
This is stuff the text books don’t tell you about. The literature describes the “illness” and the “symptoms” with very little in the “cure’. The truth is, there is no cure. Mental illness is a misnomer, based on an assumption that there is a true definition of mental “health.”
For example, Koreans eat dogs for dinner while in the USA we cherish them as much as our own children. So, who’s “crazy” here?
In my work with patients I learned that in helping them to unload the psychic junk they were fed over many years that ultimately made them sick, they were able to make space to start re-defining themselves and their lives. What they, as well as I, discovered was simply to “keep it simple”.
An existentialist would say; life is really simple. You’re born and then you die. The path you choose, how painful or pleasurable it is, what you do along the way, is up to you.
Some say “God put me here for a reason” or “whatever happens to me is God’s will”. What we tend to forget is that He also endowed us with “free will” which came with a write-it-yourself manual and a do-it-yourself tool box to use in creating our lives. In holding God responsible for what happens in our lives we conveniently, but mistakenly, avoid responsibility for who we are, our decisions, our actions, and the consequences that follow. We try to dodge the bullets by throwing God in front of us.
Good luck with that one.