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The Therapeutic Powers of Work

The Therapeutic Powers of Work

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Further proof that we’re all workaholics — but is it really good for us? Here’s WSJ:

When I see patients who have been injured in their private lives, by past abuse, say, or a recent trauma, such as divorce, often I suggest that they invest new energy in their careers. The workplace may not overlook anxiety or depression, but often it is more neutrally instructive than the sphere of intimacy. When it functions well, the office teaches all of us when to stand our ground and when to be strategic. We learn that decisions don’t always go our way. The workplace says, “Aw, get over yourself.” Since on the job we’re focused on performance, we are likely to do just that, to absorb advice and move on. It’s not only the workplace that acts on us; it’s also the work. Even solitary enterprises ground us. Consider writing. There are styles of writing that show contempt for readers, as if maintaining their interest, charming and seducing them, were incidental to the task. Doing the job—developing an inviting voice—entails locating, even re-locating the self. Always, there are technical problems, with word choice, pacing and story lines. The material resists our efforts. The same is true for the contractor’s brick and building codes. Confronting what we work in, we discover our strengths, and we learn humility. – from WSJ