In a Pinch

By Craig Canfield, MA, LP, LCC Counselor

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

1 Cor. 6:19-20

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A Pinch of Confrontation
Has this ever happened to you….a loved one with whom you are sheltering during quarantine, has, with all the best intention, come up to you and with that lobster claw of thumb and forefinger pinched a section of that annoying extra spare tire that surrounds what was once your waist? Sometimes words accompany the gesture. Sometimes not. But what inevitably follows is annoyance, anger and a persistent sense of violation. What was formerly under your shirt and deep in denial has been revealed. 

A Pinch of Anger
“What right do they have?” We find ourselves saying. The answer is every right. Finding yourself in that kind of ‘pinch’ can, if we accept the British definition of ‘pinch’ in the expression, “in a bad situation when help is needed”, find its parallel in our situation currently with COVID 19.

A Pinch Too Close for Comfort
With the virus we now know that we possess a certain ability, by social distancing, wearing a mask and washing our hands frequently, to influence whether or not we become infected. Similarly with our own bodies we have learned recently that certain genes once pessimistically believed to determine our future can actually be turned off and on, affected by our own nutritional choices. Anyone with a computer cannot argue ignorance of such discoveries. The likes of doctors such as Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Joel Fuhrman, Michael Greger, Neal Barnard and Mark Hyman have flooded the internet with educational videos in critique of SAD [the sad American diet] and where it is leading us.   “Out there” exposure to the virus is a destructive thing, but within our sheltered environments, “exposure” of what our denials have helped us cover up may not be such a bad thing. What we resist knowing might be slowly killing us, certainly shortening our lives.

A Therapeutic Pinch
The virus can put us in a ‘pinch’ as well, forcing us inside, but inside in a symbolic sense where we are left to confront ourselves. Are we to allow ourselves to join psychotherapy’s betrayal of the body where little attention is called to our clients’ physical state of health?  When mentioned by the counselor, it is often covered over by the frequent response, “I am not here to discuss my physical state. I have a doctor for that.”  Yes, but in treating the whole person as a good therapist should, it is vital that one’s denial about a medical danger be addressed and dealt with in a loving way.  Very little therapy gets done after major strokes or diabetes sets in.

Can a Pinch be Positive?
How can we say that we care for the mental and spiritual states of those that come to us for help with depression, anxiety and relationships with their loved ones yet never address the ravages of food addictions and poisonous diets? Whether it’s from a loved one or from the fear of contracting the virus itself, sometimes it’s only in a ‘pinch’ that things get transformed.

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Craig Canfield counsels couples, adults and teens virtually at this time. When pandemics aren’t here, he relates to our Brooklyn site. You can check out his bio here: https://www.lccny.org/locations-pages/brooklyn-bay-ridge/

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If you feel you and your child need help adjusting, call LCC at 1-800-317-1173. For safety, all sessions are provided using a secure, HIPAA compliant virtual video and/or audio platform.

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