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Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. W. D. Nicholas will help you find solutions to life's challenging issues.
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Do I HAVE to deal with the past in order to move on and be

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Do I HAVE to deal with the past in order to move on and be happy? What if I don't want to rehash all the bad memories?

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

There are therapy models that don't advocate delving into the WHY question at all and certainly not the past. A prime example is very strict Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

But here's the difficulty:

CBT has been shown effective in a number of disorders and other types of therapy have been shown effective when other problems are present. And the second part to this is what you are like. CBT, even in disorders where it has been shown effective, is dependent on the person responding to its style.

So let's find out if it might be the best for you:

Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?

YOu've been in therapy for 15 years. Are you getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?

Has it been all one type of therapy? Was it helpful?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

I will most likely log off for the night before you reply, but go ahead and reply to these questions and I’ll answer as soon as I log on tomorrow. Okay?

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your response. To answer your questions, yes, there was trauma and abuse in my childhood. Lots of it. I have discussed it in therapy but my therapist is more of a sounding board than anything. Honestly, I think she likes me too much to be a good therapist. She's more like a good friend. She rarely ever even charges me for therapy! I don't know what kind it is. I just go there when I need to talk and she listens. We haven't crossed any boundaries into a real friendship (i.e. I've never met with her socially) but it's borderline. I don't feel like my therapy has been helpful other than the fact that I feel validated. She "gets" me and she thinks that I'm an amazing person. She once told me that if I ever decided to write a book about my life that she would write the forward. That's very flattering, but I feel "stuck." I bought Phil McGraw's Self Matters book and when I got to the part where I was supposed to write down my memories or "pivitol" moments, I got stuck. Sorry, I don't know how to spell pivitol. I think that pretty much answers your questions. My real question is that I think my past might be holding me back but I'm afraid to deal with it. I'm really afraid to go there. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
Hello there. I love that you posted this question! But before I move on, let me just say that I am so sorry that you had such trauma earlier in your life and more importantly that you have not really found relief up until now :(
Having said that, the reason I am so glad that you posted this question is because I deal this and similar issues often. The short answer to you question is NO! You don't have to revisit the past in order to move on. There are many therapist (in fact most) who take the approach that you are familiar with (digging up the past). This can be effective and it works for many people. This is kind of a problem focused approach. HOWEVER....
There are many that have a different approach and I like this different approach very much. Not as many therapists use this approach, but it is effective. It is the SOLUTION FOCUSED approach. Just do an internet search in for a therapist your area that practices this and you will find exactly what you are looking for - I can tell by you post that you are like so many that have looked for this :)
I would also recommend that you get some books on the subject - there is no shortage and even reading about this approach to therapy will get you moving forward - you will see :)
If I have been helpful, please don't forget to click on the green accept button - either way thanks for the opportunity to serve :)
AgapeDoc, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 197
Experience: Dr. W. D. Nicholas will help you find solutions to life's challenging issues.
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