Your mind heals itself but it can’t do it without you. It needs your help and sometimes it needs you to find someone else who can help.

Just as a cut in your skin will naturally heal, so will an emotional wound. You can observe the miracle of healing by watching a skin cut repair itself. You can reflect on your mind’s capacity to heal by remembering relationship hurts and losses. Not only did you survive them, but you gained wisdom and resilience in the process.

Healing is your repair kit. It’s a gift you were given along with your life. It repairs your mind as well as your skin. Through the mental mechanisms of self-awareness, mourning, and reason, your mind accepts, adapts and resolves hurt and losses. It naturally helps you to survive and to thrive.

Sometimes a cut in your skin is too deep or too dirty to heal on its own. It needs you to wash it and bandage it. It needs your protection and assistance in order to properly heal. If it becomes infected, it may need an herbal remedy or an antibiotic to restore the flow of healing. It it’s too deep, it may need tape or sutures to close the wound enough for healing to take over.

This is how it is with your mind. If you have fear or sadness, you may need to pace yourself or otherwise protect yourself as your vulnerable mind struggles to heal. You may need to adjust your attitude so you will be kinder to yourself. You may need to be purposeful about diet, exercise and stress management in order to promote your healing. You may need to surround yourself with compassionate loving influences that will ease your mind and enhance your healing flow.

If your hurt is too deep to heal on its own, your mind may need some help. Self-help books and tapes may provide perspectives you hadn’t considered. Guidance by others who were trained to help may be needed. Guidance may be in the form of psychotherapy or counseling. It may be in the form of body or energy work, as in therapeutic massage, acupuncture, or acupressure. It could also be in the form of spiritual guidance with pastoral counseling, 12-step recovery, or psychic or shamanic healing. Whatever form or combination of forms of guidance you seek be sure it is with someone who is well trained, professional, and compassionate. Guidance by a skillful professional can get your healing flow pointed in the right direction.

If your suffering is so severe that you cannot make effective use of guidance, your flow of healing could be blocked. If you can’t find your way past the block, medicine may help restore your healing flow.

Here it is necessary to proceed with caution. Too often people rush into using medicine. They give up on the hard work of resolving their issues and chose short term comfort over long term resolution. Although medicine can assist healing by reducing severe sadness or fear that can distract and derail it, medicine can delay healing by excessive emotional blunting or by mild or serious side effects.

If, however, your healing is blocked by severe symptoms or if you have a hard wired genetic condition, medication may be able to reduce your distress enough to restore your healing flow. Then you can return to the work of resolving issues with psychotherapy or other types of healing guidance.

The questions of whether, when, and where to seek help for your mind are very important. So is the question of what sort of help to seek. If the answers are not clear to you, consult with a trained professional. The fields concerned with helping your mind to heal have many kind, caring, and well trained people. You may need to consult with more than one before your path of healing becomes clear to you. Whichever path you chose, keep in mind that the goal of any approach should be to complement and assist your natural flow of healing.