As defined by specialists, psychotherapy involves the use of psychological methods to help a person change behavior and overcome problems through deliberate strategies. It aims at improving an individual’s wellbeing in order to resolve or mitigate unwanted behaviours, beliefs, thoughts or emotions. Although there are many psychotherapy techniques with some having minor variations, others are based on different conceptions of psychology and ethics (how to live decently). The basic goal of a psychotherapist is to help his clients modify their behaviours to suit universal code of conduct. Some definitions of psychotherapy overlap with counseling particularly in non-directive client-centered approaches.
Nigerians with maladjusted personalities have since become clients at President Muhammadu Buhari’s psychotherapy clinic. Under him, Nigerians are struggling to change and replace their old unethical and criminal way of doing things with decent behaviours and practices. It is now that many are learning to substitute corruption with accountability. They are also learning to change from cutting corners to following due process; from spree spending to prudence; from stealing public funds and property to protecting them; from indolence to earning a living; and from getting away with crime to paying for it. These are some of the attitudinal challenges faced by Nigerians who were on the wrong path of life are.
Unlike drug-based medication which has defined treatment period and predictable healing process, psychotherapy being a behavioural matter is a more difficult procedure for managing clients who lack self-restraint and modesty. To some extent, curing persons with deviant behaviours depends on the individual’s conviction and readiness to conform to rules of ethical conduct. Buhari’s psychotherapy for Nigerians is intrinsic in his courageous fights against corruption and financial crimes.
President Buhari’s ethical re-orientation agenda called “change begins with me” is a process designed to re-orient Nigerians to think, speak and act decently; with integrity being the watchword. For President Buhari’s psychotherapy to yield the expected results, patience is a necessary ingredient. Stressing the role of patience in addressing corruption and other social ills, President Buhari appealed to Nigerians to persevere the hard times being experienced in the country. Buhari mentioned this in December 2017 during his 2-day official visit to Kano state. He pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with administration’s ongoing anti-corruption war.
Many verses in the Holy Qur’an enjoin us to exercise patience in all matters and at all times. Allah (SWT) exhorts in Qur’an 2:45 “Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patience perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard except to those who bring a lowly spirit” Sunnah teaches that a true believer should always show gratitude to Allah (SWT) in trying times. No matter the severity of a trial, we are obliged in Islam to practice patience, perseverance and self-restraint.
If patience were to vanish today from our socio-political life, there would be no place for words like peace, justice, equity, love and compassion. It is with patience that the strong amongst us live with the weak, and slaves able to survive with their masters. Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asserts that strength does not lie in the ability to fight or subdue others but a strong person is one who restrains himself when things are in turmoil.
Achieving any set of goals would remain a dream unless accompanied with patience, perseverance and prayer. So it is with every aspect of our worldly life. When, in spite of all efforts by men of God, people do not accept Truth and evil seems to flourish for a time, we must wait and be patience but at the same time we must not give up. Only then can we carry out our part in the plan of God. Although Islam exhorts righteous men to be patient with what seems to them as evil around them, that does not imply that they would sit still and do nothing to destroy evil, for the fight against evil is one of the cardinal points in Islam.
A close look at our contemporary Nigerian society will no doubt convince you that patient perseverance cannot be more desirable than now, prevailing socio-economic and political situations call for prayer, patience and endurance. Islam teaches that it is not enough to be patient but that our patience must be good and sincere. It must not be a sort of patience that goes with complaints.
Living in a society where almost everything seems to be in aberration demands utmost patience. A society bedeviled by corruptions is in daring need of persons with persevering qualities. No amount of patience must be seen as too much. Like charity, it is never in excess. The higher a person’s spirit, the better the outcome. The following narration is an example of patience and perseverance in action. It was reported that Abdullah bn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Prophet (SAW) narrating that one of the prophets (May Allah be pleased with him) was beaten by his people and was bleeding. He cleaned off blood from his face and said. O Allah! Forgive my people, for they know not”. Allahu Akbar!
Impatience could lead to hypertension. Whoever allows impatience to over-ride him could live to regret his actions. No one has ever regretted being patient but many have executed actions they would wish were unperformed. The impatient has also fallen victim to evils and disasters that could have possibly been averted if they had remained patient.
If only a man will wait (patiently), all will come his way. Considering its value, patience is wealth. How poor then are persons without patience. With patience, one is able to possess that which he lacks. Patience according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is light. Patience ensures a healthy mind in a strong body. It consoles the mind over adversaries.
Every act of patience will be rewarded by Allah (SWT) as stated in Holy Qur’an 39:10 “… Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure”. Of course, Allah will not allow the reward of the righteous to perish. May Allah (SWT) grant us the patience to persevere and appreciate the psychotherapeutic policies and measures of the President Buhari-led administration amin.