You are not broken.
Many people arrive at therapy thinking that something is ‘wrong’ with them or that they are broken. We try, in the first few sessions of therapy, to begin to break that idea down. There is a way to think about how we feel about ourselves that is, perhaps, more helpful.
The role of every person, at its most basic level, is to survive to adulthood so we can go on to continue genetic lines (we may choose not to of course by not having children!).
In order to survive we need to adapt to whatever situation we find ourselves in – this might include physically and emotionally damaging situations. We all find ways to ‘survive’ in these situations – we can call these ways strategies. Our strategies help us to be as OK as we can. Later in life we may find these strategies are not so helpful.
Here’s a simple example:
If you are a young child in a physically abusive situation you may use anger at home to help protect yourself – If I’m really angry the person who abuses me is less willing or able to harm me – therefore this is a protective strategy. The problem is, I might start to use this strategy in other situations where the threat is not real – like at school or with other children or I might use it later in life when at work. Using this strategy was helpful up to a point.
It does not mean the person has something wrong with them, they were simply using a strategy to survive. There is no ‘broken’ here.
Contact us, we would love to hear from you and be able to talk about how we can help.
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