"If the people believe there's an imaginary river out there, you don't tell them there's no river there. You build an imaginary bridge over the imaginary river."
Nikita S. Khruschchev (as remembered by Richard Nixon) in Rick Shenkman's book, Just How Stupid Are We? p. 53
People can only take so much truth. As Oscar Wilde said, "If you tell people the truth you better make them laugh or they will kill you." This is true in psychotherapy as it is in politics and just about any other walk of life.
People do not like cognitive dissonance. They do not like their thoughts disturbed. It raises their anxiety, and they can become dangerous.
My Social Work professor drilled it into our heads to "take the client where they're at, not where they ought to be, not where you think they should be, not where they could be, but take people where they're at."
My Social Work professor's advice has been stellar advice. And so we get the government we deserve. We get the lives we deserve, because people are very unaware. To wake them up might mean a punch in the face or at the least, protest and complaint, and a grump or two. Very few people wake up with a smile on their face, a song in their heart, and expressions of gratitude.
When you tell the truth, tread lightly, stand back, and fortify yourself with large amounts of compassion otherwise it can be a hurtful and destructive experience.
It may be easier and will undoubtedly make you more successful to build imaginary bridges over imaginary rivers, but some would say it is immoral, unethical, and in the long run we deserve the truth if we are to become human beings worthy of our potential.