Psychology 101. “Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior.” My formal training in Psychology began with that disappointing statement. While it’s a practical, if narrow definition of the field, its impact was positively de-inspirational. Happily, Psychology is more than this limited vision. It aspires to understand not just the actions, but the mind of the individual. The mind is what, more than anything else defines who we are, determines what we are like, and directs what we do, and fail to do. It is also the source of our deepest troubles. Because human misery is everywhere to be found in life’s journey, there was no higher calling for me than helping fellow travelers.
A yellow brick road to nowhere. The classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, portrays three unfortunates, each tortured by a different deficit in a major domain of psychological functioning. One longs for adequate mental capacity, another is crippled by undermining inadequacy and emotional turmoil, while a third lacks for feelings needed in order to enjoy satisfying relationships. Each of them, with a flawed perception of the problem and misplaced hope in a powerful wizard, travels long and far for his false remedies. In the end, real solutions came unexpectedly through a fellow traveler who helped them find within themselves what they thought was lacking. Now seeing themselves and the world differently, they were transformed. An unseen internal barrier was removed which liberated a vital aspect of the self to be experienced and expressed. This is where I realized the exciting and powerful potential for a career where I could make a real and positive impact in the lives of others.
Every one of us experiences or exhibits difficulties that are perplexing. Blind spots in awareness prevent accurate self-perception and confound productive self-understanding. Unless we can remove our blind spots, we cannot truly resolve our difficulties.