Extreme examples


Dear Brooke,

What do you respond to people who take your teachings and try to prove they don’t apply to extreme examples?

I just had someone tell me that somebody who’s spent 6 months being tortured in a prison in Egypt, or somebody whose entire family has been raped and murdered before their eyes, doesn’t “choose” what they are thinking about what happened, and therefore telling them to take responsibility for the thoughts causing their pain is not helpful, and even detrimental to them because it can feel like we are negating the reality and pain of their experience.

What I responded was that first of all, people who go through this kind of situation need long-term support from a trained professional, not just a podcast, but that it actually seems worse to me to tell them that they will suffer forever because of the situation they have lived, that they will never feel whole again. That on the contrary, it is more helpful and empowering to tell them that, in time, they will have access to thoughts that will be less painful than the ones they have now — that recovery is possible. Not easy, not fast, but possible.

What do you think? Would you respond in a different way? I know people always use extremes to test theories and I’m sure you get that all the time. 🙂

Thank you!

Clotilde in Paris.