In my practice, I have seen many— sometimes heartbreaking— examples of how people have suffered far longer and more severely than they had to, simply because they were not receiving the type of help that could be most effective for them at the time.
- Stage One―Someone you see as “more capable” than you are to take over problem and allow you to resume a conflict free existence as much as possible … Medication and/or drug detoxification for chemical issues.
- Stage Two―Legal counsel … Behavior modification and other concrete forms of counseling to change errant habits that threaten relationships or freedom.
- Stage Three―The Bible, church, a clergyperson, or a charismatic leader who clearly spells out the rules and/or authority that needs to be adhered to in order to resolve the issue … An exception or “loophole” in a rule you believe you must follow and someone (a creditable friend, family member, or therapist) to help transition you to a new way of thinking
- Stage Four―Psychotherapy for treatment of such conditions as anxiety, depression, anger management, self-esteem issues, and relationship conflicts.
- Stage Five―Self-help books and audio/video programs … Peers (talking to people you value) and all types of peer groups that focus on personal growth or a specific challenge you are trying to meet.
- Stage Six―Chosen mentor or coach in the specific area you need help, who is personally beyond the problem or challenge you are struggling with … Whatever practices best connect you with your inner resources; such as meditation, yoga or journeying, for example.
- Stage Seven―Spiritual master of some type who helps you to transcend your ego and access your inner resources to search for the answer(s) you are seeking … Meditation, prayer, yoga, or any method that works for you to turn inward for guidance or direction. Many of these are the same practices as in Stage Six, only Stage Seven issues focus on your mission, not your own gratification.