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Psychologists have traditionally focused on the past – what if that’s all wrong?


Still Waters
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For over a century, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers focused people’s attention on the past. And so when Mary struggles to maintain romantic relationships, she blames her past boyfriends for it. When Chris battles with addiction, he digs into his memories from childhood when he first felt humiliated. And when Saoirse doesn’t want to settle down, she attributes her free-spirited nature to being the youngest child in her family.

But what if these psychologists got it wrong? What if it is not the past but how we view the future that holds us back, preventing us from becoming the best versions of ourselves?

https://theconversation.com/psychologists-have-traditionally-focused-on-the-past-what-if-thats-all-wrong-182308

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From personal experience. If you see the future as being bleak and miserable, you'll self-fulfill that expectation. It become a dominate reality tunnel that everything will revolve around.

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8 hours ago, Still Waters said:

For over a century, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers focused people’s attention on the past. And so when Mary struggles to maintain romantic relationships, she blames her past boyfriends for it. When Chris battles with addiction, he digs into his memories from childhood when he first felt humiliated. And when Saoirse doesn’t want to settle down, she attributes her free-spirited nature to being the youngest child in her family.

But what if these psychologists got it wrong? What if it is not the past but how we view the future that holds us back, preventing us from becoming the best versions of ourselves?

https://theconversation.com/psychologists-have-traditionally-focused-on-the-past-what-if-thats-all-wrong-182308

One’s conditioning is laid down early the first 3 years of life or so schemata’s from our childhood are formed and depending on what was taught, what happened, what the child did or didn’t get will mold and shape this human and guide them. The caveat is one will see how effective the guidance was from the parents or guides, this will show up in many ways once a person gets out in the world and has experiences. It will show up in how they do at school, how they get along with their peers etc etc. and this is different for everyone.
 

 

There really isn’t a past or future technically, but the things that affect us due to our conditioning and guide us now at current based on our conditioning, culture, influences, peers, education, experiences parenting leaves a huge imprint on us we draw off our conditioning in an autopilot fashion unless we take a long deep and thorough look at and work at all these aspects that make up a functioning human being and from there one builds a new foundation, basically, being socialized in ways that are traumatic cause a lot of damage to a person”s ability to function or ego integrity and show up in a life they find miserable for the most part.

 

I was one such person my conditioning was extremely abusive and it would be many years and misery and styles of therapy to rebuild myself into a functional natural human. I was in psychoanalysis to begin as this deals with our conditioning, then onto to personal therapy and couples therapy, and concluding with 5 years in mindful-based therapy with the emphasis on childhood abuse. I have a lot of experience with therapy in different contexts.

 

Bottom line if one deals with the past by default it will reflect in the future. For me, after years of working on myself my life is full of love, manageable stress, and when it isn’t I have a system in place to help, I am living my best life, we have financial abundance, all of my relationships are quality, and those that weren’t have been addressed and let go of in compassion, my marriage is a joy, and my husband is my best friend too. I truly have a wonderful partner, my kids are amazing not perfect, but human. I love the work I do and for the challenges I face where I once was in dread and anxious just one more problem to deal with I now see opportunities and am grateful to have the capacity to cope with whatever comes my way in equanimity. I extend compassion to myself on the not great days and I still have these too. I am human and I embrace my humanity in its entirety. I see this journey as a huge learning curve because I didn’t like the life I did have so I set about and have worked very hard to make it what it has become, I see myself as a success story, what is possible when one is willing to do the work, it doesn’t have to be the way I did it there are many paths to be a healthy functioning human being and most do not have the need for such rebuilding of a their person, but I had a lot of trauma and PTSD from my childhood, which is now healed. 

Edited by Sherapy
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I think that dwelling on the past is why therapy does not work.  The cognitive behavour therapy is the only one I have seen that actually provides any help.  And it is based on how you think, feel and act now, it doesn't require diving into the past, just what are you thinking, what is going on in your relationships with family, friends and co-workers, how can you change your reactions and responses, what thinking do You need to change to change your behavior.   Much less time is spent, much less money and much more obvious results than sitting on a couch talking about your parents and past trauma for 20 years.

Edited by Desertrat56
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14 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I think that dwelling on the past is why therapy does not work.  The cognitive behavour therapy is the only one I have seen that actually provides any help.  And it is based on how you think, feel and act now, it doesn't require diving into the past, just what are you thinking, what is going on in your relationships with family, friends and co-workers, how can you change your reactions and responses, what thinking do You need to change to change your behavior.   Much less time is spent, much less money and much more obvious results than sitting on a couch talking about your parents and past trauma for 20 years.

In bonafide therapy, rumination is a normal aspect of healing it allows for the suffering to come out in a controlled way. Then there is a question of trusting someone enough to share your pain some people can not thrust at that level. They can't even walk int the therapists office.  PSTD is common for trauma and the talking about it starts to get it out.. I have had some traumatic situations that took me several months of going over and over until I could let it go and then one day it was gone and this signifies healing and this is why the therapist gets paid they are paid to listen and in-the listening they are a co partner in giving the person a safe way to explore and release the deep seated pain. Thank god for therapists. Bless my therapists heart she listened to me for months with compassion, kindness, patience etc as I slowly worked thru the pain and trauma. Some trauma is horrendous, it truly is, especially for a young child. 

Edited by Sherapy
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5 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

In bonafide therapy, rumination is a normal aspect of healing it allows for the suffering to come out in a controlled way. PSTD is common for trauma and the talking bout it starts to get it out.. So in a sense one isn’t dwelling on the  past but looking at it now as an adult where one does have the ability to change things. 

As long as the change is understood to be the way the person thinks about the trauma.  There is nothing else you can change about the past.  And why waste time doing archeology when you get the same result from just getting help identifying the self destructive thinking and learning ways to change that thinking?

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27 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

As long as the change is understood to be the way the person thinks about the trauma.  There is nothing else you can change about the past.  And why waste time doing archeology when you get the same result from just getting help identifying the self destructive thinking and learning ways to change that thinking?

Indeed, Mindfulness Therapy in a nut shell. Gotta love the Zen Buddhists the philosophy suggests keep things as simple and drama free as possible. Rumination in a controlled guided environment has a way of teaching you this too, if you only have insurance for 10 sessions, and your really there for help you are gonna get to the point fast, getting suggestions.  Great post, Dee. Always so fun to converse with you. 
 

 

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