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CHANGES, SELF-GROWTH AND THERAPY DON'T ALWAYS TICKLE

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


Therapy usually does make you feel better. But that does not imply that you will feel better immediately. In some ways therapy is like going to a dentist with a toothache. Sometimes you get the added pain of a novocaine needle, of drilling or of sore gums afterwards before all the mouth pain, including that of the original toothache, disappears. Similarly, facing psychological problems means that one's symptoms sometimes seem to get worse. Of course! This is natural. Our defenses keep us from what we don't want to face. The threat of having to face these unwanted issues raises our anxiety and thus increases our symptoms.


I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world... Socrates c. 400 B.C.

Aloneness is a routine feature of self-growth, particularly in the specific area of current decision. Difficult situations, ideas and feelings immediately arise once one decides to change; aloneness is often especially difficult. A woman, in her attempts to break out of the housewife mold, may be faced with how to be assertive, how to face anger, how to express herself in job situations, and how to or even whether to choose a new occupation that might not be conventionally female. All these choices will usually result in many feelings of being alone and without much support as she finds her way along her own individual path of growth. Her old friends may not be there for her, and even if they are, they may not be of much assistance. For they need the same growth she is having to find for herself.


I do not recommend retreating in the face of feeling so stranded. Some aloneness must be faced if satisfactory self-esteem is ever to be achieved. This is a significant aspect of how we gain self-esteem - we do our own thinking and come up with our own ideas and paths. It may be necessary to force oneself to stay with aloneness instead of retreating into past habit patterns. (Men also back away from much aloneness, particularly that aloneness associated with grief and hopelessness in their childhoods.)


One unpopular psychological truism (also Earth School truism) is that once I start to face and overcome problem X, then my next problem, Y, will often raise its problematic head. Y may be my most painful and difficult problem ever. Just having Y in the background may raise my anxiety and symptoms to a fever pitch. If I fall into the feeling-good trap, I am likely to conclude that it must be wrong for me because of the added stress. If so, I resume my old unhappy ways.

Next Excerpt  

The average two-year-old is a great beacon for emotional health, displaying a full range of emotions and moving beyond them once they are expressed.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   RECOMMENDED GOAL OF THERAPY: INNER PEACE
   DON'T GIVE ALL YOUR PERSONAL POWER TO A THERAPIST
   THERAPISTS WILL DISAGREE WITH THESE WORDS
   FINDING A THERAPIST - SETTING THERAPY GOALS
   LIFE IS LUMPY
   CHANGES, SELF-GROWTH AND THERAPY DON'T ALWAYS TICKLE
   VENTILATION IS NOT ENOUGH
   SUFFERING SMARTER IS DUMB
   EACH THERAPY HAS ITS OWN LIMITS
   ALL PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE SAME MOTIVATIONS
   FEELINGS
   THERAPISTS IN THERAPY
   LEMON THERAPISTS
   OUR SOCIETY IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK
   MISSING FROM THIS BOOK
   YOUR PERFECT THERAPY


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Book Table of Contents  
Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care
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