A Note to Catherine Zeta-Jones . . . and Everyone Else, Too

On April 13th, 2010, it was announced to the public that Catherine Zeta-Jones had recently undergone treatment in a mental health facility in Connecticut, treatment for Bipolar II disorder. Every news cast and article I’ve read recommends medications and psychotherapy.

But the therapy that has been consistently recommended is not psychotherapy as I know it. It’s today’s version of “psychotherapy” which is about managing the symptoms behaviorally and cognitively. Things like understanding and recognizing the triggers for the symptoms, making preventative changes, and tweaking the person’s medication. There is nothing wrong with these things as steps, but only as steps and only as truly needed. But these are being recommended as the therapy.

This is a version of psychotherapy that has taken the soul out of the psychotherapy I know, honor, and love. Psychotherapy is soul work at its best, at its deepest, at heart. What “psychotherapy” has become in our world today is the result of politics (by pharmaceuticals, by “managed care” health insurance, by a system whose goal is the “quick fix” to get you up and working and “functional” as quickly as possible) . . . and repeated blatant and insidious attacks from many quarters in our society on true psychotherapy, true healing, people truly knowing themselves, what happened to them long, long ago, and what still lives within them calling to be healed, calling to be birthed into being, calling to be fulfilled.

Some days ago I heard a well known medical correspondent say that curing it was probably going too far. In other words, there was not a likelihood of cure for Catherine Zeta-Jones, for people with Bipolar Disorder II.

And so I want to let you know, Catherine . . . if you choose to simply take medication and adjust your lifestyle, that is your choice. But you definitely have other choices. It is possible for you, if you are willing to make the commitment and do the inner exploration and healing . . . it is possible for you to heal what you are suffering from to the roots that live within you.

And that which is possible for you, will also make so much more possible for your children. And that which is possible for you, is possible for others, too.

Don’t settle for the limitations that today’s psychotherapists, drug companies, and media people settle for. If therapists do not do their own work to heal the roots of their own wounds, those therapists cannot possibly help others do the inner work to heal to the roots of their wounds.

Don’t settle, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Don’t settle. You have a choice!

© Judith Barr, 2011

Sex and The Media: Where’s The Accountability?

In these times . . . when so much is going on in our world, not just in our country, but all over our world . . . when every media report has the potential to be heard or read by millions . . . our media needs to be more accountable than ever before.

But recently two media organizations ran stories that were anything but responsible or accountable!

The first was a NewYorkTimes.com story about about an 11-year old girl who was gang raped in Cleveland, Texas. The story was slanted in favor of everyone except the girl. The community that had been destroyed. The men and boys who raped her who would have to live with this for the rest of their lives. And the story was slanted against the little girl. It talked about a neighbor asking where her mother was and others talking about how she dressed older than her age. What century do we live in that a little girl is blamed for being raped by 18 men and boys? What country do we live in that this has occurred? And what has happened to the New York Times that it would publish a story like this? Many have said it reflects the rape culture we live in. Perhaps that is so. Regardless, I hold the New York Times accountable for its story. We all need to!

The second was a CBS.com story about a 24-year old woman who has concocted a misuse and abuse of sexuality under the guise of therapy. She calls herself “The Naked Therapist.” She calls what she does “naked therapy.” She promises “power through arousal.” She is not trained or licensed as a psychotherapist. She calls her clients “patients” and charges them $150 an hour to seduce, titillate, and manipulate them into watching her undress, under the guise – the absurd, bizarre, unbelievable guise – of healing.

To add insult to injury, what is CBSnews.com doing publishing an article that doesn’t expose this for what it is – abuse! Not only do they not censure what this woman does, they mention she is not licensed, they mention that professional therapy organizations would not approve of what she does, but they go on and talk about what she does . . . as though it’s okay. Really, their article titillates, which unfortunately in our world, sells stories. How very wounded a society is in which a story like this can be used to titillate and sell a product! I hold CBS.com accountable for its story. We all need to.

This brings us right back to the beginning . . . if the media isn’t accountable for the stories it publishes, we need to hold them accountable.

If we don’t hold them accountable . . . what does that say about us? What does it say about what we need to heal in ourselves? What does it say about what we need to heal personally, individually, for our own lives and for the sake of our society?

© Judith Barr, 2011