What Do Dragons Have to Do With Therapy?

Therapy isn't about naval-gazing. It's a hero's journey. When you face your inner dragons, you'll find you're stronger than you thought.

People are deeper than you think. What we’ve managed to do is take the truest ideas of life and pack them into stories for safe keeping. On a rainy day we pull a story off the shelf or pop one into the DVD player (do those still exist?) and reacquaint ourselves with these truths that make our lives better. One example is the dragon story. It doesn’t matter what culture you’re from. You’ve got thousands of options and each variation goes like this: For years the quiet village has been terrorized by the dragon which sleeps in the mountains. Following each assault, the villagers discuss how to manage the problem. “Maybe we can make taller walls? Maybe we can get better weapons.” Nothing works.

In the direst moment, one villager has a wake-up call, “We can’t make ourselves safer sitting here. We have to go out to face the dragon.” In that moment the villager becomes a hero. He sets out towards the cave. Chard bones litter the entrance. The stench of the beast’s filth is overwhelming. The hero peers into the cave – he’s never seen such darkness. He’s afraid and considers turning back. Instead, he does the unthinkable. He finds the dragon sleeping surrounded by gold. It’s terrifying but by facing his fears the hero realizes the dragon’s defenseless. Slaying the dragon, the hero saves the village and takes the treasure living happily ever after. The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

The dragon’s a metaphor for the fears and pain that haunt us. Seeking therapy, we answer the hero’s call – enough is enough. Therapy transforms who we are by teaching how to willingly face fear to overcome it. We become a hero. It’s not easy, but we learn how to enter all the caves we’d rather not and slay our dragons to take home the treasures. The loving marriage we always wanted. The relationship with our kids free of anger. Even the treasure of self-love, self-respect, and the clarity to follow the dreams we’ve put off until the dragons “go away” on their own… something they never do for long.

So, what’s therapy? It’s the hero’s journey. It’s slaying dragons.

Yonasan Bender, SW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He has his psychotherapy practice at The Place: The Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Yonasan Bender at 053-808-0435 or email him by clicking HERE. To learn more about him and his work, click HERE.

About The Place

The Place is where therapists, individuals and the community connect to create safety, strength and success. At The Place, men and women discover the freedom and safety to move past those issues which are preventing them from living life to its fullest. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover his or her own strengths as powerful tools in the healing process.

The Place is a multi-faceted clinic offering both individual and group therapy, support groups, interactive evenings and lectures, educational classes, and drop-in hours. Our comfortable, confidential, relaxed environment allows clients and their families to explore sensitive issues and create positive change. We believe that the key to mental health and emotional well-being is inside you.

At The Place, male and female therapists work independently or as a team to explore sensitive issues and facilitate positive change for individuals, couples and families from all sectors of the community. Some of our specialties include emotional eating, grief counseling, internet addiction, phobias, anxiety & OCD, childhood challenges, premarital counseling, couples therapy and intimacy issues, postpartum support, personality disorders, psychiatric care, and more. Connect with a caring professional in person at our comfortable Jerusalem offices, or by video, phone, and text. We’re here for you.

Contact Us

Email info@theplace.org.il
Phone (02) 581 8299
Whatsapp 054 260 1468

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