One of my favorite pastimes used to be rushing into impossible situations, brainstorming, and then figuring out how to fix whatever needed fixing. At the time, fixing things seemed like the only thing I was actually good at doing.
Disclaimer: This refers to fixing other people’s problems…not my own!
I believe that penchant of mine for fixing things is what initially led me to seek a Masters in Social Work. I excelled in the academic aspect of Social Work especially when we had to come up with solutions/treatments for nearly impossible case scenarios. When it came time to interact with actual people I was able to do well because the clients seemed to trust me right from the beginning. This only furthered my belief that I was called to fix things and/or help people fix things in their lives.
Fast forward to two semesters left before I would graduate with my Masters in Social Work. I was in the middle of my Master’s internship working with a variety of clients. One of them was a young woman who had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia who was prone to vivid hallucinations. During one of her appointments she began actively manifesting one of these hallucinations. All my Social Work training seemed to fly out the window. The only thing I could think was, “Where is Fr. Al?* I could really use Jesus working through him right this second!!!”
By the grace of God, we both made it through that appointment all in one piece. After she left I had to write my case notes which included coming up with a treatment plan. This meant that I had to decide whether I wanted to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy,
Psychoanalytical Therapy or a combination of them when working with the client. I drew a complete blank. I didn’t have a clue which therapy would be the most beneficial for her.
The only therapy that came to my mind was: Jesus Therapy
I know that thousands of clients benefit from the use of the therapies listed above (I have benefited from them myself on occasions), but I knew on that day that I personally wasn’t going to be one of the therapists who would be treating clients with any of those therapies. Having worked for the Healing Ministry for a couple of years, I knew that the client I had seen not only needed the traditional Social Work therapies, but she also needed some intense Jesus Therapy too.
I realized that maybe I had gone into Social Work for the wrong reason. I might have selfishly wanted to continue my “Ms. Fix It” role on a grander scale. While others are truly called to minister to clients as therapists I don’t think it was my calling at all. I believe I was called to minister to people through the Healing Ministry not through a counseling setting.
It was at the exact moment of writing up the case notes that I truly comprehended that it wasn’t (personally) my place or job to play “Ms. Fix It” in people’s lives! There is only One Who can “fix it” and I’m not He!
These days I have the privilege of watching Jesus Therapy at work on a daily basis at the Glennon House. And I have to say that “God is Good! ALL the time!”
* Fr. Al Durrance was a Prayer Minister at the Healing Ministry who prayed with individuals for inner healing and deliverance.