Sometimes it is difficult to remove your own feelings, thoughts or even hypotheses from the equation, but ultimately your role is as a therapist and nothing more. When we relate this to wider society, to people who do not need to operate under professional codes of conduct, we see something very different. There exists an intolerance and almost a fear to that which is different or that which challenges our existing thought process and even values. It’s very natural to become judgmental as we are constantly formulating opinions on things we encounter. What is much harder is to remain open and objective.
As humans we all have precisely the same flaw, which is we are indeed human and with comes the fact we are fallible. We have recently seen several atrocities, deliberate and accidental, which has brought out the best and worst within society. On one hand it has galvanised people and really accentuated a community spirit. It has indeed brought people from a variety of different cultures together in common grief. Antithetical to this we have seen something quite divisive, which has prompted people to raise questions about a multi-cultural society and induced fear and trepidation in many communities for different reasons.
It is easy to see how this has happened with emotions running high and a very natural, subjective response. One of the key things I have learned during my time as a Counsellor is that often perpetrators are also victims. This seems a really difficult concept to conceptualise, but ask the question what has happened for that individual to get to that stage. This by no means condones some of the actions people take, it merely attempts to explain it, to understand it. As a Counsellor this is a big part of my role. I am there to work with people and help them to locate and address the root cause, rather than just treating the effect.
Impulsivity can often cause problems, it’s always more productive to have a measured response, but to remain balanced in a situation which elicits such strong emotions can be challenging. Try to take some time out and consider what you want to gain from the situation and the best approach to doing that. Remember those we label as good people in society can do bad things and those we label as bad people can in turn perform a good deed.