The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): What is psychotherapy? Can psychotherapy heal the mind?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, what is psychotherapy? If I look directly at it, all it means is healing the mind. What is the mind? How do you know of it? Is it something alien to you? Do you really require to read books to know the mind? Do you require definitions and terminologies? Do you really require stuff that has been certified by experts? Is the mind an object outside of you, not available to you? You said psychotherapy, we are talking about the psyche. Is not the psyche something that we anyway live with and live in? Whenever you are observing, are you not observing the mind itself?
So, first of all, one hardly needs any specialized knowledge in this field. If you require knowledge to see the obvious, then such knowledge is a ploy against seeing the obvious. It is not a helper; it is rather a deterrent.
Now, when we look at the mind and we said the mind is always available for observation because whatever you are seeing is nothing but the mind in action. When you look at the mind, what do you see? We are talking of now healing the psyche; psychotherapy. So, there is the mind that is always available, how to heal it?
To heal something, first of all, you need to know its disorder, its disease. And the mind is hardly ever in ease, it’s always restless. Is the restlessness not evident when you look at the mind? Don’t you see yourself and everybody else running after something? Don’t you see how our goalposts keep shifting? Don’t you see how we choose one target after the other? Don’t you see how we all are just the same in that?
The objects we chase may keep varying but the tendency to chase remains the same, or does it not? Surely the mind wants something which it is not getting. Now, the mind can keep trying one object after the other and it still does not reach the destination, and this is evident when you observe.
You see people achieving this, achieving that. Everything that is available to the human imagination can become an object of achievement. And it would have surely been already achieved by somebody, if not then it would be…