What is Mental Health?

Being healthy means working through unfinished childhood issues. Healthy people accept responsibility for their perceptions and attitudes rather than focusing on blaming and wanting to change others. They take responsibility for communicating their own needs and they really try to hear what the needs are of others and to practice showing understanding. Tolerating mistakes with an attitude of forgiveness and an awareness of individual differences is a result of allowing others to have their own perceptions and experiences, and seeing the essential person beyond those differences. We must work on our capacity to value another person's needs and desires as much as our own. Trusting ourselves and others is an important factor.

When we trust, we can easily expose ourselves and do not need to hide or medicate our feelings through addictive or compulsive behaviors. We do not need to enmeshed, dependent or disengaged with others. We have the right distance between intimacy and separateness because we know our boundaries. We manage our time with others well. We cultivate sharing some of the same friends and activities and also have separate friends, support systems, and interests. And we know that sex and intimacy are not the same. We acknowledge that sex is only a part of intimacy, ad we know how to be intimate with ourselves first before being intimate with others. Choosing to be in a relationship rather than needing to be in one denotes a person who is comfortable with their own ability to thrive independently.

When we have problems with other people, we can face them, and we are confident with skills of conflict resolution. We know hot get to win/win so that we come from a position of otherness rather than being selfish to make sure our own needs are met even at the expense of others. We release our expectations of the relationship and accept it for what it is, knowing that there will be times  of conflict and that the resolution of conflict leads to self growth as well as deepening of relationship. We grow and learn together.

Mental health is also the ability to be honest with self and and authentic with others. It is the ability to welcome and embrace change, trusting in the process of change, as a vehicle for self growth. Taking an attitude of personal inquiry and consistent focus on the expansion of relationship, be it with self or others, leads to a sense of true community and a passion for finding one's place in  it.

See also a description of a variety of Counseling Services and their respective links in this site. There is also information at About Counseling.

For more information See Family Connection and you can also go out outside this web to view the Family Connection web site.





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Susan Burns, MA, LMHC, BC-TMH, CEAP Copyright 2004-2022