insomnia, he/she would ask you about your relations with others.
Therapy often consists of resolving current or former (childhood)
interpersonal situations. This focus on relationships comes partly from
Adler (1951) who saw adults as striving for power and superiority over
others. He encouraged his clients to develop a caring (anti-
chauvinistic) "life-style" that lead to self-improvement and served
others. Sullivan (1953) also emphasized how interpersonal
relationships influence our "self"--our personality and our drives for
security, power, pleasure, empathy, physical intimacy and so on.
According to these writers, insight helps us change. Then, Berne
(1964) wrote Games People Play, which we have just reviewed.
Sources of help: Friends, family, self-help groups, therapists
Even if interpersonal stress is not a cause of a problem, other
people can often help with the solution. As you may remember from
childhood, often a problem doesn't seem so big after we have shared it
with another person, especially if he/she holds us lovingly on his/her
lap. Often, as adults, we turn to friends and relatives just for comfort
(not necessarily for sage advice) when we are in trouble. Friends are a
very important part of our lives (Rubin, 1985), even though we change
friends from time to time. In addition, there are "arranged friends" in
the form of self-help groups, relative strangers offering help to people
with special problems. It is usually especially reassuring to talk with
people who have had the same problems as you have had. These
support groups include the famous Alcoholics Anonymous and
hundreds of other specialized groups for dieting, Parents Without
Partners, parents of children with terminal illnesses, ex-psychotics,
unemployed, abusive parents, people going through divorce, etc. etc.
Call your Mental Health Center to locate the self-help group of interest
to you. If there is no group near you, find two or three others nearby
with similar concerns, if needed consult with a counselor, and start
your own self-help group. These experienced, caring self-help groups
provide a very valuable service free (see Method # 3 in chapter 5 and
Lieberman & Borman, 1979).
A real friend is one who helps us to think our noblest thoughts, put forth our best efforts,
and to be our best selves.
As our families scatter in a mobile society and each person is left
on their own to make friends (Keyes, 1973), we sometimes become
lonely. We may have no friend or relative to turn to when we need
emotional support. Because of this isolation and the availability of
mental health services, more and more people are seeking
professional help with living without people or living with them
(Howard, 1971; Schutz, 1975; Verny, 1975). William Schofield (1964)