In depth therapy we know there's a growing openness to people seeking to heal from mental pain. Many know they don't have to throw drugs at everything - there are alternatives. Therapeutic listening to psychic pain reveals not only the source of the trouble but avenues for transformation. There's a message in pain, and if that is listened to people can heal. 

A recent news article reported, "Some of the voices inside Caroline White’s head have been a lifelong comfort, as protective as a favorite aunt. It was the others — “you’re nothing, they’re out to get you, to kill you” — that led her down a rabbit hole of failed treatments and over a decade of hospitalizations, therapy and medications, all aimed at silencing those internal threats. At a support group here for so-called voice-hearers, however, she tried something radically different. She allowed other members of the group to address the voice, directly: What is it you want? “After I thought about it, I realized that the voice valued my safety, wanted me to be respected and better supported by others,” said Ms. White, 34...." (NYT An Alternative From of Mental Care Gains A Foothold 8.816)

Whether it's about extreme mental suffering in the form of voices in your head or subtle feelings of unease, there's a message in it. On a radio interview for my novel, The Unholy, this week the interviewer stated, "You mean dreams can actually help me? There's a message in them?" I answered, "Definitely. Dreams speak to what we don't know about ourselves. They shed light on mental suffering."

He asked how one might know when they've stuck on the meaning of the dream. I answered in a way that applies not only to dreams but to mental pain. "We've struck on the message when it clicks and it's helpful. It offers practical guidance about what to do about a situation, an attitude, or a relationship. Dreams offer practical help."

The same holds true with mental pain. It has a message embedded in it. The message, once it clicks, is helpful. It assists us in making changes regarding situations, attitudes, or relationships.

The radio interviewer was astounded and thanked me for the insight. Extreme suffering, subtle feelings of unease, troublesome dreams - there's a message in them, something for us to learn about ourselves, life, changes to make and to be undergone so that we can heal.

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