There are a lot of “quick fixes”out there for mental health, especially in Los Angeles. Magic pills, the newest “Secret”, self-help books. There are the fly-by-night gurus with six-month certifications qualifying them to solve your weight problem, heroin addiction, and acute childhood abuse, all in under an hour! If any one of these things brings you peace, then more power to you. However, in a culture of instant gratification, many people in need are drawn towards fast food “therapies” which offer the same immediate dopamine rush as a McDonalds meal, but often leave them with just as little true nourishment.

I will be the first to agree that the days of endless meandering talk therapy are outdated. I am an advocate of the cutting edge neuroscience behind meditation and mindfulness, spiritual psychology that moves beyond the ego, and somatic psychotherapy that moves beyond the story. But I am not an advocate of a Chinese restaurant that also sells donuts. Or the new “breakthrough” that will solve everything for you, once and for all, in just three easy installments!

Our particular human fragilities, pervasive destructive patterns, and deep wounding deserve care and tending by someone who has dedicated years of time, resources, and careful study into the science and art of healing psyche. Your pain deserves a skilled and contained PROCESS; one in which you are invited to be an active participant in understanding your unique psychology, and in consciously transforming from the inside out. Process doesn’t mean wallowing in neurosis or needlessly prolonging suffering. Making the choice to do deep work means resisting the temptation to subscribe to something magical outside yourself (the guru, the wonder drug, the charlatan) that robs you of your own agency to move through the dark and reintegrate the light in a sustainable, awakened way. The quick fix might suffice for a time, but it’s often like putting a band-aid on a broken arm. I offer clients both brief and long-term therapy avenues, but always in service of making conscious contact with the soul of things—- not just the surface, and not just the symptoms.

Your psychological healing shouldn’t be like an oil change or a drive-through for a Big Mac. Your emotional pain isn’t a mole that needs to be removed. When we think like this, we deny ourselves the revelations and richness that accompany true self-inquiry and an examined life. Process-oriented healing isn’t as flashy as the quick fix, but it’s always more rewarding. Anything worth doing requires commitment, time, work, and love. Your healing should be a journey; one of awe and earned catharsis. Taking the long way home is always worth it in the end.

© 2012 MeredithHines MA

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