Dr. Matthew Paldy

On the Hidden Rewards of Bad Actions

"In psychotherapy one always has to remember that anyone who is failing at one thing is always succeeding at another. The therapist, or counselor, is useful as someone who can show the patient the paradoxical nature of his acts. If I fail as a student to have a girlfriend, I succeed at keeping myself as someone who loves only in the family. If I fail my exams I successfully maintain myself as someone who is not ready for the next stage. If I can't write my essay, I can show myself to be capable of refusing a demand by a figure of authority. In this context the aim of the therapy is not so much to help people make more confident choices as to show them how many choices they are (unconsciously) making."

We often associate suicide with those who have had a troubled past. We can say that these individuals are unable to forget the past, to escape its trauma. "The only way to truly forget the past is to dispose of it, to kill it, and the only way one can do that with any assurance is by dying."
-- Adam Phillips