Updated: Jul 17, 2021
We will be posting quirky or surprising images once monthly on our home page that nevertheless point in a serious way to important themes regarding how we see our patients and what we do at Wellness First.
I can’t think of a better picture to start our series with than an image of Dorothy starting off along the yellow brick road in the movie, Wizard of Oz.
The Wizard of
Oz is a timeless movie largely because it touches on human truths that resonate with us, even if we don't think why.
At the beginning of the film Dorothy is living with her aunt and uncle in pretty bleak circumstances. There has been some kind of serious disruption in her life because she is not living with her parents. She is young, coming of age, and challenged by life circumstances.
At the start of the film Dorothy is facing a serious threat. A mean and vindictive neighbor wants to destroy her dog Todo after being bitten by Dorothy's little friend. Being an influential member of the community, this nasty neighbor intimidates Dorothy’s guardians who are powerless to protect her dog.
In desperation, Dorothy falls upon her own resources. She briefly runs away but upon returning to her Aunt's farm she is swept up in a tornado that carries her to the magical land of Oz.
There she is greeted by friendly Munchkins and a good witch, the latter gives Dorothy a pair of ruby slippers that unbeknownst to Dorothy are endowed with mysterious powers. Though her new friends cannot help her get back home directly, they point out a pathway, the yellow brick road, where she can hope to make progress. She is promised that there is a wondrous wizard at the end of her journey living in the Emerald City that will help her. On the yellow brick round she encounters challenges and meets new friends, friends who, like Dorothy have there own challenges to meet. The friends band together joining one another in a perilous journey.
They arrive at the Emerald City and meet the awesome and seemingly powerful wizard who promises the group of friends that if Dorothy seeks out and defeats the evil Witch of the West he will assist her in returning to Kansas. Dorothy embarks on this challenge and succeeds, only to discover upon returning to the Emerald City that the grand Wizard is a fake, yet another disappointing adult who, though ‘not a very good wizard,’ is a nice though hapless man. The well well intentioned the man invites Dorothy to join him in an air balloon that, he promises, will carry the two to Kansas, but after a mishap, the former wizard takes off accidentally leaving Dorothy behind.
When all seems lost, Glynda, the good witch we have met at the beginning of the film appears and tells Dorothy that she has always had the means within her to return home, it is within the power of her ruby slippers. If only she focuses her wishes upon them those wishes will be granted.
In essence, this film is about the actualization of a young woman, a coming of age film in which we see Dorothy emerging as an independent adult.
The beauty of the movie is consistent with the way be think of our patients at Wellness First. All patients are on a journey of finding their way to independence and confidence. In essence they are learning to play the game of life. Treatment is a matter of helping patients develop resilience and discover their own ruby slippers.
We clinicians are like the good witch Glynda, we can’t directly solve our patient’s problems, but we can help our patients find a yellow brick road accompanying them on their journey as they discover within themselves the ruby red slippers that have always been there.