Home2 Forums Fiction Mental Health Therapy as a Plot Tool Reply To: Mental Health Therapy as a Plot Tool

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 18, 2020 at 1:14 am

    I took a course this year called Sod Haadam-Binyan Nefesh Haadam- highly, highly recommended. It’s basically a course on psychology but all with Torah sources and endorsed by big Rebbetzins (did you know that there is a Torah personality system which is similar to the Ennegram?) Anyway, what’s clear from that course is that a person has to have themselves before they can have a relationship  with Hashem. A person whose heart is squashed and not connected to themselves will have a hard time connecting to Hashem. Also, a person understands Hashem based on the authority figures in their lives. This is why when writing a story about someone who is going through an emotional issue, even a minor one, it’s hard to just bring Hashem into the picture to solve their problems. Good emotional health is a prerequisite to Torah. In fact, Torah can hurt someone who is in bad emotional shape because they do not have the proper vessel to contain Torah…this was all said on the course. I think that’s why it’s hard to just solve a character’s problem who has emotional issues by having them connect to Hashem. I think there should be some kind of person in between who shows the character their worth somehow…and then the character has to learn the lesson on their own as well and eventually connect to Hashem. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to connect to Hashem to help us solve our emotional problems, it most certainly does work, BUT a person with emotional issues often views Hashem in the wrong light to begin with and therefore can’t truly connect, like Hashem is going to punish them for every little mistake, Hashem hates them, Hashem is a big bully, Hashem  doesn’t care about what they want etc.

    Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I feel that when reading a novel, people want to be taken for an adventure…every person ideally wants that the people in their life should connect to them and understand them, that they can be themselves around the people in their lives…and when that doesn’t happen, therapy is crucial to give a person back their own self…but in a novel, personally, I want there to be some kind of magical feeling of the character stumbling upon someone within their lives, or in a new place where they end up, who ends up connecting to them and thereby teaching them the theme…I want to also see the character stumble and make mistake after mistake until they get the theme because that would make me relate to them. To just send them to therapy would take away the magic feeling, and like the solution was given to them on a plate. Perhaps if a character must go to therapy, there should be other characters as well who help them learn the theme to give the novel a more sensational feeling than just ‘oh they went to therapy and fixed the problem, the end…’

    Lastly, if people would just understand each other and be there for each other and believe in each other, we wouldn’t need therapists…it sucks enough that in real life people need to pay money to someone to do that for them…at least in a novel I want to be taken to a different type of world…

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