Kristen finds that these various levels of psychic irony tend to appear and constellate around one specific emotion: anxiety. Anxiety is often Hard Irony’s companion. When she is anxious the psychic tensions seem to escalate. As a result, she gets confused and distracted, which leads to even greater anxiety. Kristen is accustomed to being thoughtful and caring, yet when her psychic ironies are constellating, Kristen finds it difficult to be thoughtful or caring of other people. It seems like a vicious circle–as it is for any (and all) of us who have experienced the unanticipated constellation of psychic ironies—who engage and live in Hard Irony.
The second case study concerns a man I will call Joshua. He operates a day-treatment center for adolescents who can no longer function successfully in the public school system of their city. In many cases, these adolescents were abused as children, were born with major neurological challenges as a result of their mother’s extensive use of drugs, or have been passed on from foster home to foster home. In each case, the life stories of these adolescent residents are heartbreaking.
One can’t help but grow increasingly distressed regarding the unfair world in which these young men and women dwell. The day-treatment center, that I will call Fairhills, is 20 years old and is the last hope for these adolescent clients. If they don’t make it at Fairhills, they are likely to spend the rest of their life in a mental institution or will end up on the streets and eventually in prison.
Joshua serves as Executive Director of Fairhills. He had worked for many years as a social worker and as Director of Training at a large mental health treatment center in a nearby urban setting. As a social worker and training director, Joshua focused on the treatment of adolescents and worked with his client’s families whenever possible. With this background, it seemed very appropriate that Joshua tackle the major challenge of leading an adolescent treatment center such as Fairhills.Download Article 1K Club