Therapy Blog

Understanding the Problem Doesn’t Guarantee its Resolution

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Sometimes people come into my office searching for why things are the way they are. . . why they feel the way they feel or behave the way they behave. While these introspective questions are important as motivations for practicing introspection, it’s important to remember that making life changes is more about the ‘how’ of the solution than the ‘why’ of the problem.

For example, a common approach to understanding adult behavior is to look at childhood family dynamics. While the insights gained from this are useful, developing a plan for the here-and-now about how to change behavior is more important for the actual change process. The insights about the role of your history that result from introspection and therapy certainly help with motivation, but taking that too far and re-telling your “story,” or narrative, over and over frequently backfires as it actually drills in those lessons that you are trying to overwrite.

So, in terms of facing an issue, then erasing it by replacing it, it is important to know its components, but not to overdo the analyzing of the past.


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