Milton Woolley MFT counsels men, women and children in Sonoma County
As a therapist, I would describe myself as psychodynamic, developmental, systems oriented, and eclectic. I believe that if a child's developmental needs are met by appropriate and attentive parenting that the child's resulting curiosity will drive him/her to solve the inevitable puzzles of growth and change. With experimentation, mistakes, and re-experimentation until mastery occurs, the steps to maturity and life purpose emerge. The human being loves puzzles and if one's needs are met, those puzzles are challenges that add value to one's life and the lives of others.
When something interrupts the natural phases of growth in a child's development, like a trauma of some kind or inappropriate behavior of a parent or others toward the child, then curiosity gets diverted into solving the problems associated with that trauma or misguided behavior. The stage of development the child is experiencing when the redirection occurs will determine how he/she will attempt to solve the puzzle. Meanwhile, curiosity about the world unfolding in this emerging person will cease.
Marshall McLuhan, back in the late 60's said: "We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future." One of my philosophy professors in graduate school said it this way: "Most of us live life as if driving forward at freeway speeds using the rear-view mirror as our point of reference for steering." When something upsets our developmental direction, we turn around and work on the resultant puzzle at the expense of the present and the future.
My role as a therapist is to create a safe and trustworthy relationship to allow one to solve the puzzles of his/her history. By becoming conscious in the present moment through integrating the historical information and emotions resulting from the developmental interruption, a person can return to being curious about the future.