The Weary Yet Mighty Lemon Tree

June 16, 2020

In the midst of this current head-spinning, mentally straining, emotionally draining, perplexing pandemic that is leaving many with a jaded, burned-out weariness, mental health and allied professionals can alleviate considerable pain.

CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES

Our role in the mental helping professions is largely to facilitate clients’ and patients’ abilities to reduce and eliminate their self-created emotional blocks, to disturb themselves less, and to become more fully functioning and self-actualizing, in order to live longer, happier, lives. Yet, highly negative emotions and self-defeating behaviors anchored in irrational cognitions interfere with these goals.

Whether attributed to Elbert Hubbard in 1915 or Dale Carnegie in 1948, the phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” comes to mind. In the midst of this current head-spinning, mentally straining, emotionally draining, perplexing pandemic that is leaving many with a jaded, burned-out weariness, mental health and allied professionals can alleviate considerable pain.

How? By stepping out of our professional lemonade stands and through the lens of accelerating public peak living, teach society how to make—not sell—their own lemonade. This will go a long way towards preventing and treating COVID-19-related anxiety, depression, anger, self-pity, guilt, and other self-defeating behaviors.

4 ingredients for resilience

If Disraeli is correct when he said, “There is no education like adversity,” then COVID-19 offer a work-from-home opportunity to earn a graduate-level degree in resilient lemonade-making. Perhaps we can offer the following

1. Teach the value of labeling the expertise and wisdom they have within themselves. Help them recognize their overly subjective, absolutistic, rigid, and irrational views they hold of themselves, others, and their world.

2. Empower people to stay true to the wellspring of proper morals and ethical ideals that have rightly guided them throughout their lives. Guide them through the challenges this pandemic poses.

3. Help people uncover or attain their personal determination that help them not only survive from but flourish through the daily storm that COVID-19 brings.

4. Help the public bring peace and quiet to the mental distractions of the here and now and begin to “imagineer” down the road to a more hopeful time

The public health is a part of the ethical spine of the AMA. Note that in Section 7 it says, “A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.”

Dr Mantell earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as Chief Psychologist for Children’s Hospital of San Diego, the San Diego Police Department, and as Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD Medical School.