There are many reasons people come to therapy: relationship troubles, traumatic experiences, depression or even self-improvement. Though the presenting reason may vary person to person, the underlying goal is to heal. There are many ideas on how to heal people that range from medical models to holistic approaches. My personal interest is healing that tends to the whole person: mind, body and soul.
An important piece of healing involves exploration. The majority of us have a neatly pre-packaged story of our lives: what our childhood was like, how we decided on our major, and the problems we have endured and overcome. Our story often becomes so airtight that no other possible perspectives or meanings can seep in. This story becomes so routine that when people ask us about our lives we simply reach into our pockets and recite it from memory without batting and eye. We generally believe that with age, cultivated experience and wisdom, we develop expanded perspectives and ideas on life. However, when these stories of our lives go unexamined for so long, we can cut off the opportunity to make new meaning, re-story our plotline and ultimately deepen the understanding of our experience. CONTINUE READING!
With Thanksgiving just behind us, we are well into holiday season. As many of us were recently surrounded by family, we are thinking about how to get through the rest of these upcoming gatherings unscathed. It is truly magical how as young adults and even full grown adults we can walk into our parents home and suddenly we are fourteen again. How’s that for time travel?
For the majority of the year, we are consumed with creating the life we want, focusing on our careers, friendships, love lives and social outings. Aside from a few rough patches here and there, we generally think of ourselves as mature and functional adults. However, much of that goes by the wayside when we come face to face with the people and surroundings that molded us into the individuals we are today. Suddenly, we have picked up right where we left off; resuming the same role in our family as we did in adolescence, arguing over the same issues with our parents and siblings, and of course, resorting to the same old coping mechanisms and habits that we were so sure we left behind once we moved out.
It never ceases to amaze me how prominent this topic of conversation is not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life. For some it is dreading the helicopter mom who prods for all the details, for others it’s avoiding getting sucked into the screw up sibling’s latest saga and for others it’s a struggle to achieve that delicate balance of parental validation and independence. Regardless of what flavor your family cocktail is, here are five pointers to guide you through! CONTINUE READING!