The Irreverent Psychologist
Over fifty-five years ago, Karen Horney wrote that "whatever the conditions under which a child grows up, he will... learn to cope with others in one way or another and he will probably acquire some skills. But there are also forces in him which he cannot acquire or even develop by learning. You need not, and in fact cannot, teach an acorn to grow into an oak tree, but when given a chance, its intrinsic potentialities will develop. Similarly, the human individual, given a chance, tends to develop his particular human potentialities. He will develop then the unique alive forces of his real self: the clarity and depth of his own feelings, thoughts, wishes, interests; the ability to tap his own resources, the strength of his will power; the special capacities or gifts he may have; the faculty to express himself, and to relate to himself and to others with his spontaneous feelings. All this will in time enable him to find his set of values and his aims in life. In short, he will grow, substantially undivereted, toward self-realization."
Psychotherapy can take many forms and use many tools and cannot be easily described in general statements. It is a complex enterprise that varies depending on the personalities of the therapist and client as well as the particular problems and issues that are being experienced. The roots of change can be found by simply observing an acorn grow. Is there enough light, water, and soil? What prevents the acorn from germinating? What change needs to happen to support the acorn to reach its potential?
Good therapy is about identifying the obstacles to growth and developing a creative and dynamic capacity to resolve or adapt to those challenges.
Whether you are coping with depression, anxiety, interpersonal relationships difficulties, career struggles, or just want to know and understand yourself better, therapy can be an excellent opportunity to think about where you have been and where you want to go.