Humans have been around for a long time.
Psychology as a field of study? Well, that’s been around since about the mid-1800’s.
Thankfully, psychology has been recognized as an important field, and a lot of really intelligent folks have spent their entire lives studying and revolutionizing how we deal with mental health. Along the way though, we’ve lost something. What about the other thousands of years of written human history? What about the human spirit and the study of the most fundamental question known to mankind? Why?
It’s important for scientists to understand theories and use the empirical method, but that can also tempt them into tunnel vision and lead to them being disconnected from the needs of the general public. As an example, psychologists have been arguing since the 1970’s about whether peoples’ behavior is more affected by the traits they’re born with, or by the situations and environments they face. Common sense tells us it’s both, but to PROVE that it’s both can evidently take upwards of 30 years.
At East Tennessee Mentorship Association, we aim to bridge the gap between mental health and spiritual health. With a holistic, solution-based focus built on the foundation that every individual has a different framework, our goal is to meet people where they are and help them take the next step toward their own wholeness and growth. It isn’t about clinical treatment and diagnosis, and to be clear – that is NOT what we do. Instead, our focus is on understanding what people want to accomplish with their efforts and helping them navigate the obstacles – whether emotional, practical, or otherwise – that stand in their way. Sometimes, navigating those obstacles means talking it out, doing martial arts or yoga, or even retreating into nature to find some clarity, like we did in the image below!
When you leave it to state boards and legislative bodies to manage how healing is done, you leave out large groups of people who have problems that you can’t study in a textbook. Yeah, you can read about theories regarding how to overcome grief. But does that help you to walk with someone who has just lost their spouse or their father? You can read all about how suicidal ideation is caused by chemical imbalances, but does that help you to know what someone who is suicidal is experiencing? We highly encourage everyone who needs mental health treatment to seek it outside of ETMA, or perhaps in conjunction WITH mentorship, but our mission is founded on the idea that people are social creatures, and that everyone deserves someone who has been in the pit before to accompany them through it. Mentorship is based on competence and experience, not exclusively on education. There’s immense value in education, and our staff will be students throughout the rest of their lives, but people are dynamic, and complex, and WHOLE. At ETMA, we want you to know that, as a whole human, you aren’t alone.
Regardless of who you are, what you look like, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to have a safe place to be seen for ALL that you’re comprised of, and you deserve to have support systems and guides in your endeavor to Earn Your Sanctuary.