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Is physiotherapy similar to counselling?

My physio was brilliant at diagnosis – he just had the gift of finding the spot – and boy! did it hurt! A biblical counsellor needs a similar gift – to be able to find the root of the problem when someone comes for help.physio

Initially, my physio did some work on the affected area – in the same way, the biblical counsellor needs to be able to apply the Word of God to the problem.

But then the physio sent me away with exercises to do, always gently insisting that most of the work would be done by me, between sessions – and it’s just the same with biblical counselling. If you work between sessions, you will see improvement – and vice versa: the counsellor can’t wave a magic wand, just like the physio can’t.

Now I’ve been discharged, the physio said something like this: ‘You’ve worked hard and you’ve seen a great improvement. Now keep at the exercises (albeit in a somewhat reduced way) to maintain it. And don’t forget I’m here, if ever you need to come back for a few more sessions.’

I learned a lot from my physio – and it wasn’t just how to deal with back pain.

 

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Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what is going on inside their head?

If you do, you’re like Joy, one of the five emotions in Riley’s head in the movie ‘Inside Out’. When the 11-year old Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate the move. The storyline is based on a common experience but the movie is filled with brilliant insights into how our emotions work.Inside Out characters

Riley’s emotions, led by Joy most of the time, are in charge of creating glowing little memory balls which are stored in the control suite each day and then, when Riley goes to sleep, dispatched off to be stored with all the other long-term memories. This infinite memory-ball library is situated in a huge landscape, which includes vast identity islands symbolising various aspects of her personality: honesty, love of family, etc. There is a feelgood factor in how the movie portrays the values of honesty and of family life.

When Riley moves house and starts experiencing all of the emotions which go along with that, Joy struggles to maintain control. Indeed, Joy and Sadness both find themselves locked out of the command centre for a while – Riley suffers from depression. Fear, Disgust and Anger are in control and Riley is miserable. As Joy and Sadness make their way back, through a roller coaster of events which involve trying to catch the train of thought, it becomes clear that Joy and Sadness are both necessary to Riley’s wellbeing. Sadness cannot be confined to the circle which Joy had made for her; she is actually vital to Riley as she processes all of her emotional reactions to the move.

Nestled throughout the clever universe that “Inside Out” creates are big ideas about how various emotions drive our identity. For every sight gag that makes kids chuckle, there’s an eye-opening meditation for adults – and that’s just what Docter and his frequent producer, Jonas Rivera, intended. (Huffington Post).

If you have ever looked at someone and wondered, ‘What is going on inside their head?’, you will really enjoy this movie. You can watch the trailer here.

Some unforgettable quotes:

Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems (Sadness).

Congratulations San Francisco, you’ve ruined pizza! First the Hawaiians, and now YOU! (Anger).

All right! We did not die today, I call that an unqualified success (Fear).

Emptiness

I’ve been reading a paper which talks about the concept of ‘the empty self’. Inner emptiness, according to Philip Cushman of the California School of Professional Psychology, can be expressed by low self-esteem, values confusion, eating disorders, drug abuse and chronic consumerism. ‘The empty self has become such a prevalent aspect of our culture that much contemporary psychotherapeutic theory is devoted to its treatment,’ Cushman says. His paper endeavours to put this concept in its historical setting and suggest reasons why the concept of the empty self is so prevalent today.bread
An honest look at our modern culture will verify the hypothesis for many of us. Not only are we empty people, but we try to fill the emptiness with all kinds of things – food, drink, pleasure, entertainment and, Cush would argue, most of all, consumerism. We have to acquire more and more in an effort to fill our emptiness. And if that doesn’t work, we try to change our lifestyles through self-help or psychotherapy.
In the context of reading this paper, today I read these words from the Bible and was struck at the claims of Jesus to fill our emptiness:
‘Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water”.’ John 4.water
‘Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”’ John 6.
Sir, give us this water, for we are empty without it.
Sir, give us this bread, for we are empty without it.
Lord, give us Jesus, for we are empty without him.