Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Extra, Extra: A-Rod in Therapy!

"I think it's a different life that I've discovered. ... [T]herapy is an incredible thing and you might get to know someone you didn't even know was in there." - Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees 3B, 17 HR, 49 RBI, .330 BA as of 5/31/05)

By now this might be "old news," but I didn't have a chance to comment on it last week.

All-world athlete and future hall of famer Alex Rodriguez praised the benefits of therapy last week. In classic tabloid fashion, the New York Daily News turned his comments into front page news on Wednesday.

I'm glad they reported the story on the cover, headline and all, but not because it's salacious or otherwise newsworthy in itself. A-Rod's candor about the importance of therapy in helping him sort through the emotional difficulties of his past -- notably his father's abandonment as a nine year old boy -- affirms for kids (and hopefully adults as well) that it's safe, and critically important, to deal with the hard stuff.

Sadly, that hasn't always been so in our churches. A friend of mine recently shared how he sought counsel from a pastor and the dean of a Christian college regarding sexual temptation. Their cliche advice was to read the Bible and pray more, not taking the time to discover that at root his questions related to ten-plus years of sexual abuse, beginning at the age of four, by his sister and her friends. It was only through the assistance of a professional therapist, and the support of what he called an "authentic community" of friends around him, that he was able to find healing from the pain.

The mental health profession has stepped in to fill the role that many of our churches and ministers have abdicated -- the role that allows us to "confess sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16, NIV). Despite this admonition, our traditions often mean that confession leads to exposure, ouster, humiliation, or rejection. Not healing.

Thank you, A-Rod, for having the courage to remind us what really matters.

4 Comments:

At 5/31/2005 07:19:00 PM, Blogger SWK 254 Understanding Diversity said...

"I think it's a different life that I've discovered. ... [T]herapy is an incredible thing and you might get to know someone you didn't even know was in there."

J,one of the benefits of therapy is that it brings to the surface things supressed, and at times unconsciously hidden. the mistakes church folks often make in trying to quote scripture to solve problems is that these scriptures may have no relevance to the root issues. like you mentioned-once folks get into the root and history-the bible becomes even more applicable and relevant to the case.

jose h.

 
At 6/01/2005 10:02:00 AM, Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

I was very inspired by A-Rod coming out publically about his therapy. For good or for ill, athletes and actors have a lot of public exposure, and what they say carries a lot of weight with people, especially the youth. By making this public statement, A-Rod goes a long way in helping people overcome the stigma associated with seeking mental/emotional help. Terry Bradshaw did a dimilar thing several months ago when he taped a TV special about his struggles with alcohol and depression.

I've written extensively on my blog about such matters, especially back in November & December of last year and January of this year - a time when I was going through some serious problems. I know from hearing from other people that sharing my story helped them come out of the darkness and seek some new light.

I think it's important that when people go through these trials and God brings them out the other side that they get vocal about their illness and their healing. It's an effective way to break down barriers and get people the help they need.

 
At 6/08/2005 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Noel Castellanos said...

had to check out your A-Rod post. Are you going to the Hispanic prayer event in DC? Is Rudy going?

 
At 6/08/2005 02:32:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

I will not be in DC this year. I have one of my staff memebrs attending in my place, Rafael Santiago. I'm not sure if Rudy will be there ...

 

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