• Jennifer Dodd

Shouldn’t psychotherapy be about becoming self-actualized?   

As a Psychotherapist I can’t help but wonder if therapy is being marketed all wrong. Hear me out, you have a problem, you go to someone trained to help you get better. Fine. But why does it stop there? Positive Psychology was onto something when it told us that the current model “isn’t good enough”. Maslow already gave us the hierarchy of needs, but we often only get to the first or second level before calling it quits, both in life and in therapy. Perhaps that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. I look all around me in society and see success measured as money and power, end of story. If we follow this and spend our life focused on acquiring, do we ever stand a chance of reaching higher aspirations of self-actualization? Are we so stuck and confused because we believe acquiring wealth equates realizing our full human potential? I don’t want to stop there and either should you. In my psychotherapy practice I want individuals who enter to address their trauma, the areas in their life where they are stuck, but I also want them to set their goals far higher than “not be unwell”. Psychotherapy has the potential to change the world, one person at a time. We have the opportunity to: Heal through discovering the ways in which we are stuck, unaware, or held back from our individual path towards embodiment and self-actualization. Address and recover from these sufferings and traumas, big and small in our lives. Recognize that these barriers come from our personal experiences; the society and cultures that shape us; and the structures that block us from our own empowerment. We address this by practicing self-awareness, mindfulness, and compassion. Live a life according to our personal values, purpose, meaning, passions, and inspirations. The Societal and cultural narrative may be something we follow without ever considering the harm it brings. Connect and engage deeper in life and with others. Free ourselves through personal growth and use of Intuition and self-trust. Transform. Seek empowerment through community & social change and living an authentic life. Dismantle Patriarchy and any system of power that oppresses. Society may keep us bound through racism, sexism, ablest, homophobia, gender stereotypes, classism and any other layer of oppressive “isms” we face. One thing I know about successful people is that they set their expectations and aim higher. Let’s do that instead.

“The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” ~ Abraham Maslow

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