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INSIGHT = Growth






I have been in practice for more than twenty two years. Over this time, I have had the wonderful opportunity to see those who came for help find a level of clarity focus and direction that they had not imagined possible before entering treatment.

Those who have not entered therapy might find it hard to understand how this might be the case. How does talking have such an affect on us? First, therapy is a remarkable event as it gives us the chance to see our world in ways we could not have been aware of before treatment. Simply put, hidden fears, concerns and rationales that we carry with us from the emotional events of our lives', limit all of our lives. When we begin to see, examine and challenge these fears, concerns and rationales, we can discover how they cause us to avoid what would bring greater fulfillment to our lives.

The great power of therapy begins with enabling someone to see just how these fears, concerns and rationales affect them. This is possible when the therapist asks the right question. Just as bumping into an old friend can bring back a thousand memories from that time in your life, so can the right question bring thoughts feeling and memories back that cue us into what has been hidden from us. I should add, the reasons these feelings are hidden, concerns how we, in our living with them from day to day, have become so accustomed to them we have simply accepted them as a part of life. We do not know an alternative exists until the therapists asks a question that opens our eyes to another way of experiencing the same event.

With the right question something extraordinary happens - rather than seeing the world as the problem one begins seeing how they have unwittingly contributed, i.e., their insecurities, internal issues, fears and rationales have gotten in the way of their life being more fulfilling. That is, one begins to see why and how they avoid what could bring greater love, joy and success to their lives.

When we can begin to see how our insecurities, internal issues, fears and rationales are contributing to our life problems, another extraordinary thing happens, we have opened the door to our having a choice . . . The choice is to move in the direction we may have been avoiding for months or years. We can for the first time begin to take what we have avoided head on by now challenging these fears. This is possible because we see them in a different light; we see what we fear is not the reality but something that we are introducing to the situation, i.e., our own internal fears are in fact our most troublesome issue.

Lastly, most difficult thing for the therapist and the patient concerns how extremely clever the mind is. So as to avoid their fears, it will create a brilliantly convincing rational that will completely sway the person away from what would enrich their lives. The examples are numerous. The woman who does not date as she feels there are no man who can meet her standards. Students who drop out of school because they feel they do not like it anymore. Employees who do not ask for a raise because they assume they will not get it. These and so many more examples are all about how we avoid what could enrich our lives and how our fears and concerns can convince us to avoid rather than challenge our fears.

Of course, the challenge of therapy is getting one beyond the fears and rationales so one might come in touch with what they are avoiding, i.e., what they need. Once this happens then one can reach goals that they had not known possible to reach. As a therapist, this is the wonderful part of therapy, seeing someone overcome what he or she had avoided to find a richer more rewarding life.

Copyright (c) 2000 INSIGHT
Copyright (c) 2000 INSIGHT
NEW YORK, NY 10017
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On Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis