We are all the products of our own past, from those experiences that happened so long ago that we have no conscious knowledge of them to what happened just before we opened the door to enter the present moment. Early in our lives, we learned the skills we needed to navigate the world we found ourselves in. Those skills stay with us and help protect us on our journey through life. They continually have an impact on how we deal with ourselves and others every day.
Some of the ways that we are in the world may seem incongruous or out of synch with what we expect of ourselves or want for ourselves. Words and expressions such as “uncomfortable,” “awkward,” “unusual,” “not like everyone else” come to mind. It feels as though something is “wrong” with us. This happens because some of the skills or tools we acquired at a very young age to help us find our way through relationships and the world around us just don’t seem like the best choices anymore. Psychotherapy helps us to understand the hidden or unconscious motivations that make us the person we are.
In classical psychotherapy, one does not speak of a “cure.” This is because a therapist does not see the client as “ill.” The natural result of this approach is that the psychotherapist will not diagnose although the personality, emotions and affect of the client will be considered at every moment of the work together.
Therapy does not seek to change us but to bring about an understanding of why we are the way we are. With understanding, ideally, comes the ability to predict how we will respond in our daily interactions with others. We can learn to address the old needs and drives that may become active in us in ways that better meet our present needs and wants.
Psychotherapy can bring relief not through the removal or masking of symptoms, but through a healing journey of understanding, allowing the door to open to self-acceptance and love.
Good therapy can rejuvenate the spirit, not by changing your stripes but by helping you to feel better in your own skin.
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