Therapy is a good idea in these sorts of situations, but mostly for creating a stable platform for actions that enable transcending of need for therapy. At the end of the day, therapy is useful only if a person in need of therapy eventually outgrows the need for it.
If a person is to outgrow need for therapy, something must be developed as substitute for therapy. The best substitute is spirituality, or for those who eschew spirituality, a philosophy of life, that is, principles for living life.
A good test of usefulness of a spirituality system or philosophy of life is the extent to which it helps us maintain peace and joy in midst of challenges of life.
Personally, my marriage broke down in 2012 and since that time I have been separated from my four children, all of whom I raised myself along with their mother. There was not a single one of those children for whose birth I was not in the delivery room with their mother, holding her hand. I was actively involved in raising my children because I see children as responsibility, persons whom God has committed to me for their development, but with the children taught and endowed with power of choice. I took fatherhood extremely seriously, perhaps to detriment of spending time with my ex wife. But nobody is perfect at achieving balance in life. Imperfection steeped in good motives and actions never should be source of break up of relationships. Anyway, at timing of the break up of my marriage, my children were respectively, 10, 9, 7, and 5 years old.
In midst of the break up of my marriage and some challenges in my professional life, my faith in Jesus Christ held me steady. When you start a business with about US$100,000 in capital in 2012, are not able to raise additional capital, have to temporarily discontinue because things did not pan out, and are reduced to less than US$4,000 in the bank by early 2013, out of which you spend US$1,500 flying to San Diego California for a job interview only to find out the principal interviewer who always knew you were black was racist, there is no way you are not tempted into depression.
I cannot say I have always been happy. What I can say is I never have lost any peace or joy in midst of all of the challenges I faced. I never have experienced depression not because waves or feelings of depression did not attempt to wash over me, but because I had a reservoir of spiritual energy to fall back on within context of my personal relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful to Jesus Christ the worst of these challenges all lie in my past.
Some people think of this as mere positivism, but let me explain it in this fashion for those who are open minded.
I am one person whose spirit can be overwhelmed by challenges of life or whose spirit may be weak due to some generational frictions or imperfections. Now imagine I am connected with the spirit of every righteous person that ever lived, whose spirits are reposed in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:22–24). Whenever challenges of life overwhelm my spirit, my Lord Jesus Christ can make available to me a new righteous spirit to help me over the hurdle (Galatians 3:5). In essence, by believing in Jesus Christ I have access to as much spiritual energy as I can ever need to maintain peace and joy in midst of life’s challenges (Galatians 4:6–7). Add to this the fact that I have access to help from angels, Jesus Christ Himself, and Jehovah Father of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:22–24) and in essence there is no help I need I cannot find by virtue of my faith in Jesus Christ. I of course have to remain in my Lord Jesus Christ by doing the things that please Him — Love for others — in order to maintain access to spiritual resources available in Him (John 15:7).
Now you may say none of this can be observed, to which I respond,
does there exist any spirituality system or set of philosophies whose premises or promises are 100% observable in a spiritual sense?
We judge efficacy of spirituality or philosophy via assessments of their capacity to deliver what they claim is possible via faith in that spirituality system or set of philosophies. This always has been, always will be test of effectiveness of spirituality or philosophy.
To attempt to always be happy is an exercise in futility. In fact, in absence of challenges of life, we would alternate between serenity or calm and happiness. We would never seek to be in a state of exuberance 100% of the time.
There is as much value in calmness or serenity of serendipitous gazing into each other’s eyes, as there is in exuberance of happiness.
Peace and joy 100% of the time, whether in perfection or asymptotically (approximation) is within reach. I have experienced it, know it is possible, wish every person would come to know and experience it.
No one becomes spiritual in a vacuum. We all receive an invitation from someone — either God Himself or some other person — to arrive at spirituality. Its either God saying “come to me” or someone saying “come see what I have found.” I have received much knowledge about spirituality from others, I have not arrived at my spiritual state in a vacuum.
We never are diminished because we learn from others.
If anyone would, inclusive of the author of this post to which I am responding,
I recommend faith in Jesus Christ as never failing fountain of righteous actions, unfathomable peace, and unspeakable joy.
As always there is a price to pay — at love for God and love for others, the price is eminently within reach and no less than we should seek for ourselves.