I really like old classic movies, but the Wizard of Oz has always troubled me. You know, flying monkeys and what not. And who wants to be surrounded by all those people telling you in song which road to take? But the part that really irks me comes at the end. Dorothy is stuck in Oz, maybe forever, when the good witch tells her she can just click her heels and say some words (“there’s no place like home”) and back she goes to good ol’ Kansas. Stick with me, the irksome part is that she learns she could have done this any time.
WHAT? Now you tell me! I suspect that there’s an uncut version of the Wizard of Oz somewhere showing the original footage where Dorothy then throws a ruby slipper at this “good” witch.
I’ve met so many people with social anxiety problems (and other anxiety problems) who always believed that they were just stuck that way. Often their difficulties dated back to early childhood (when they may have actually watched a certain old classic movie, but we won’t blame that), and they persisted through the years. When I have told them about the tools they can learn in good Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to fight the anxiety problem, they often wonder why no one had told them before about these tools. Learning and using the tools (like exposure, or fear-facing, as I call it) is not easy like clicking heels might be. But it can be done. And I’ve had the joy of seeing a lot of Dorothys experience great relief and richer lives. There is hope.