The Human Condition or Why I Became a Therapist
Since I can remember, I have wondered what “this” is, what pain is, what happiness is, anything I noticed, I wondered. In undergrad, I took philosophy after philosophy class, not for the status or the challenge, but because I genuinely wanted to know how the best thinkers in history saw or dealt with knowledge, consciousness, with the human condition. For years, I believed that my constant pondering, inquiring, wondering, noticing was at the very least a foible, but possibly a serious flaw and there were plenty of people who told me so.
I moved into teaching, into education research and was able to examine the human mind, and information in a systematic way. However, I noticed that still, the most pressing questions continued to be the most difficult to answer. We could answer, what is a better approach to teaching, fact based or exploration based? Or how can you teach young children metacognition? We couldn’t seem to answer, why do people hurt one another, how do we stop it? Who bears the responsibility for poverty? Why do we suffer as much and as often as we do? This may sound academic, but I have been intensely serious about these types of questions my whole life.
Finally, after being a teacher, a tutor, a researcher, a writer, a musician, a veterinarian assistant, and a business owner, I found the field that takes these questions as seriously as I do, both philosophically as well as scientifically. This began providing documented answers to many pressing questions about the human condition.
Science is making incursions into the more complex areas of our experiences. We are at an exciting intersection between hard scientific evidence of what the brain is doing with trauma, addiction, anger, depression and anxiety and everything conceptually involved in the human condition. This gives me an evidence-based framework from which to explore someone’s experiences and how they are responding to them. The scope is endlessly varied and fascinating.
In a given day, I might discuss the prefrontal cortex’s management of fight or flight, Kant’s categorical imperatives, the difference between grief and depression, how a business team is like an organism and what the difference between love and need is or why it might be healthy to tell someone to get lost. More importantly, I get to be with people, talk with people without the stress or pressure of needing them to be any particular way, believe any particular thing. I get to truly be with others, as free of preconception and judgment as I can humanly manage.
Maybe I’m an idealist, but I truly believe everyone and anyone can be ok and I intend for that to be true or know the reason why. What I found in trauma therapy is one place where those age-old questions are taken seriously and I found it at a time when we are beginning to actually know the answers, not just theorize about the questions.