Psychological Self-Help

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As you may know, insight-oriented therapists say that self-analysis
is very important for a therapist, even essential. Freud devoted the
last hour of every day to understanding himself. The truth is, however,
that most psychoanalysts and other therapists become introspective
only when they are having personal problems (Goldberg, 1993).
Furthermore, even when stressed, their self-insight efforts tend to be
superficial. My point is: the professionals, who are taught it is
important, haven't invested much time and effort into self-analysis.
Why not? Maybe it is too uncomfortable to probe into one's real,
honest motives, or maybe we just don't have the techniques or
methods for making self-analysis fruitful, or both. Goldberg, a
psychiatrist, believes that we humans universally avoid thinking deeply
about ourselves because that process would soon reveal how little we
know, how limited and fragile our relationships are, how little control
we have over life, how ashamed we are of ourselves, how constantly
vulnerable we are to pain and death, etc. Thus, we subtly resist
getting to know ourselves--preferring to have our illusions that
"everything will magically work out." Unfortunately, seeking the
comfort of denial and ignorance makes it unlikely that we will cope
well and self-improve in any of these areas that we prefer not to face.
Every one of us faces this predicament (i.e., self-study or self-
avoidance) right now. I urge you to learn as much as you can about
yourself and others. Relationships with people will be the most
important part of your life. Be an expert, starting with yourself. 
All men should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
-James Thurber
Insight oriented therapies, like all therapies, make assumptions
about human nature. Based on what theorists think they have found in
clients' minds, naturally they suggest that is what you should find
when you self-explore. Psychoanalysts believe unconscious selfish,
hostile, destructive, infantile, sexual, and love needs dominate our
unconscious and drive our behavior. Humanists and client-centered
therapists believe that safety, self-acceptance, and needs for love,
friends, ideals, and self-actualization drive us. If you accept the
psychoanalytic view, you must remain constantly alert to the sinister
and animalistic motives that lurk inside all of us...we must tame the
beast within. If you accept the humanistic view, you only have to avoid
neurotic barriers to achieving your basic needs to be good. The
neurotic needs prevent you from automatically blossoming into a
caring, mature, self-actualized person. I personally assume that both
selfish-evil impulses and stressful neurotic thoughts are sometimes
shoved out of our awareness and into our unconscious where they still
have influence. I suspect both mean-selfish-angry impulses (mostly
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