This is the second blog entry in the series: How can therapy help me?
In a previous post, I discussed how therapy helps people make the changes they want. In this one, I continue the discussion.
OK, so you think this business of “living in my parent’s house” is what is going on with you. So, how does therapy help get you free to set up your own “place” to live?
From the previous blog, you understand the concept of adapting to your environment and generalizing, so that you assume what you learned about yourself, other people and the world is pretty much the way you originally learned it to be in your family.
How do you unlearn these “negative beliefs” that are not true?
1) Identify those pivotal times when you made these decisions about yourself, other people and the world. Therapy helps you find the incidents( or the general atmosphere) where you decided on these beliefs that were intelligent conclusions in that world you lived in.
(2) You get a chance to change these beliefs. You get to see how you came to create these beliefs. Then, looking at the situation with your own adult eyes, and through the clarity of your therapist’s eyes, you can change the conclusion that you made as a child. Why is the therapist helpful? Because we see ourselves through the eyes that our parents gave us. The therapist, because (s)he didn’t grow up in your family, sees the situation for what it was.
For example, Your older brother was a science whiz and he and your Dad did all these science experiments together. They never included you. You remember the time Dad got so frustrated helping you with your math homework. “What is the matter with you – don’t you get it?” When the family gets together with relatives everyone gushes over your brother and his science awards….you hang around the edges, pretty unnoticed. You are shy, and your mother needs you to “act right” (her version) in front of everyone: “Why don’t you just go over and say hello, they are your cousins, you look silly just standing there, what will they think of you?” Doesn’t take much of this is you learn you are pretty inadequate and feel ashamed of yourself.
Many of us have had much more extreme situations in our families that made it abundantly clear we’re not lovable, worthwhile, or deserving.
Making these changes often feels risky – and I will go into that in my next blog.