The 50th Post

Posted on December 20, 2012

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As the title implies, this is my 50th post and probably my last one for 2012 (I will pick it back up after New Year’s).  To those of you who have been reading my stuff all year, thanks for enduring and reading my thoughts every week.  I hope you found some things that were helpful to you and thought provoking.  To my clients, thank you for putting your trust in me.  It is an honor to support you on your journey.  It has been a privilege to witness your courage, strength, and commitment.  You have been the uncredited inspiration behind most of the posts.

As we finish one year and prepare to begin the next, it seems a good time to reflect on my philosophy of therapy at this point in my own journey.

First, our relationship is just for a season.  My mission is always to work my way out of a job.  That means clients achieve their goals, relationships are healed, solutions are developed to problems, new ways of interacting and coping with stressors are learned, losses are grieved, wounds from traumatic experiences are healed.

Second, we all need secure emotionally safe relationships in our lives.  We long to know that someone is there for us who cares about us.  We need someone who always has our back.  If home is a safe haven, we can handle a lot of outside pressures.  If our closest relationships are distressed, it is very difficult to cope with life.  We need someone to whom we can turn for comfort and support.

Third, people are resilient.  I have seen people exhibit incredible strength in very difficult circumstances.  People are capable of creating and maintaining healthy relationships and are capable of taking
positive action in their lives to solve their problems and to meet their personal goals.  Sometimes individuals just need some support in figuring out where they want to go from here and how to get there.

Fourth, couple relationships are not so much broken, as stuck.  Generally, the painful negative interaction patterns that distressed couple experience are just failed attempts by each partner to get their needs met.  The love that first drew you to your partner was real.  Your partner is not the enemy, the negative cycle is the common enemy of both of you and your relationship.  We have seen the enemy, and he is not us.

Fifth, human beings and their relationships are multifaceted.  We are not all the same.  We are a combination of nature and nurture.  For anyone who is a parent of more than one child, you know that each child arrived with his or her own personality.  Children are not blank slates.  There are both biological and spiritual components that influence who we are.  Human beings are also shaped by our experience.  Early childhood experiences with attachment figures impact how we view ourselves and others.  Additionally, we live in a larger context of family, culture, and society.  Thus, there are also psychological and sociological components that make us who we are.  As Abraham Maslow observed, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  It is helpful therapeutically to be open to looking at all that makes us what we are.  Like Saxe’s “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” to look at only one aspect of a person is to miss the bigger picture.

Let me wish you all a merry Christmas and a blessed new year.  I know that is no longer politically correct.  I trust that my Christian readers will welcome the wishes.  For those of other faiths or no faith, I hope you will accept the wishes in the loving spirit intended.  Until next year…

“I work with individuals, couples, and families to help develop secure connections
and craft manageable solutions.”

More information is available on my website www.scottwoodtherapy.com.  I am also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats http://scottwoodtherapy.com/Page5.html.

Scott Wood is a registered marriage and family therapist intern (IMF67385) and is supervised by Dr. Melinda Reinicke, Psychologist (Psy11011).

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