Congratulations to Mark Epstein on his op-ed article, “The Trauma of Being Alive” in the Sunday Review, The New York Times, August 4, 2013. It’s rare in today’s world to find a kindred spirit out there, never mind a fellow psychiatrist. I wholeheartedly agree with his position that mourning is the human process to deal with human suffering. Dr. Epstein focuses on the traumas of everyday life. I would emphasize that the formative traumas of our characters, in the context of our temperaments, are themselves the source of our suffering, which express themselves in psychiatric symptoms.
Psychotherapy itself is mourning the traumas of a life, in the context of safe emotional holding and respectful boundaries. (This is in contrast to the destructive and misleading beliefs of DSM5, that promotes the idea that human suffering comes from brain diseases and that taking a pill can cure what ails us.) I delve further into this in my book, “Psychotherapy of Character, the Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain.