Feb. 9, 2000

Love is not violent.  Love is not sex.  Love does NOT make you act in crazy ways.  Love does not incapacitate your functioning.  Love does not allow you to hurt anyone.

Love is one to one with kindness, consideration, tolerance, acceptance of differences, and is warming to the "heart" and "mind."  It is an emotion available basically only for the emotionally mature.  It is an outgrowth of maturity, which is a matter of degree.

Love, being able to love, requires that we are able to feel secure enough to know ourself well enough to know who to love and how to love. It is not instinctive.  It is not mechanical.  It is not perfect.  It has to be learned and takes practice.  Love has to be part of the way that you live your entire life.

Love means caring for another at least as well as we care for ourself, and we must first learn to care for yourself before we can love another.

If we cannot love, and therefore find love, we need to work out our problem with a psychotherapist who is not simplistic or accepts the superficial mechanical ideas of wellness that are espoused by many HMOs and who does not confuse the definitions of a diagnostic and statistical manual of mental functioning with reality,

If you are willing to undergo the discomforts and anxieties of feeling and finding out what stops you from loving and finding love and are able to utilize a search for the "why" of your life as a means of hopefully seeking a functional understanding of yourself then you may be a candidate for interpersonal psychoanalytic psychotherapy aimed at trying to help you learn to develop the ability to love yourself enough to be able to note who you can care for and whether or not that person is capable of caring for you.  It is not easy but it can be worth it.

Dr. Lehrer
Clinical Psychologist
Associates in Psychotherapy, P.A.
Scotch Plains, NJ  07090