Dr. Harvey

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Provides short-term, solution-focused, highly interactive psychotherapy 


Treat Yourself Well!

     Everyday we make choices that impact our feelings.  How do we heal feelings that are constantly wounded or create choices that enhance, rather than detract from the quality of our life?  Therapists help us explore reactions to situations and the choices we make, which are sometimes artifacts of childhood rather than deliberate decisions.
     We are products of patterns learned earlier in life.  They guide our sense of safety and rewards.  What we learn about ourselves and how to relate to others is usually a result of childhood experiences at the hands of powerful influences, such as parents and peers.  These lessons are difficult to learn and become habits, established by a system of positive and negative rewards.  Old habits die hard and require a firm commitment to be altered.  

     For instance, occasionally we dislike what is occurring and expect others to change, perhaps employing anger.  Some of us have learned helplessness and withdrawal from uncomfortable feelings.  They may simply forego their needs and passively please the other to avoid conflict, pout, or use numbing drugs, alcohol, or overeat.  Frequently, we elect to remain in unrewarding situations, feeling uneasy and frustrated.  Why do people routinely choose these painful options?

     Seven powerful, unconscious forces that motivate behavior are discussed below.  
helps us feel more powerful.  
helps us feel loved and valued.
       Responsibility-avoidance helps us feel worthy and valued by evading fault and blame
         via excuses.   
       Failure-avoidance helps us feel protected from risky situations, which may threaten
       Guilt assures us that we usually behave differently from the action we are currently
       Righteousness helps us feel superior by judging others as inferior.  
helps us feel valued and liked by others.

     The behaviors described above become an unconscious part of our personality, perpetuating childhood patterns into adult coping skills.  These personality traits govern our relationships with family and friends.  Self-defeating behaviors and attitudes are changeable.  However, we must take responsibility for our unconscious choices, rather than blaming others for their own unique personalities.  Few people are true victims; most continue their own hurt by ignoring their options.  These opportunities are automatically blocked by the unconscious mind, which has long ago decided how to function in similar circumstances.

     Psychotherapists have many approaches and tools for managing the varied difficulties people present.  One way that therapists help clients is to identify painful patterns and assist them to understand why they are perpetuated.  Clients then evaluate available options and determine motivation for change, including assessment of risk, such as rejection.  Finally, therapists help clients follow through with consistency.  Most clients achieve their goals more quickly than anticipated.  Misery is Optional!