Understanding and Not Blaming Your Parents

Often people feel a need to blame their parents when understanding them would actually give us more control over their influence upon us.

It is natural to experience some anger as we review and relive our history. We need to feel the feelings that we were unable to feel when we lived through our childhood contacts with those whose influence shaped us, but not to always necessarily keep those feelings alive within us. Hatred that is based upon our present unconscious fear of our parents sometimes is toxically eroding our present capacity to live our own life our own way.

We are not joining the present cultural creed that forgiveness is always better than maintaining a tolerable amount of dislike for some one or ones who hurt us especially if they are quite ready to hurt us again if they could. Hurt with actual intent to hurt is not the same as someone emotionally hurting their ward or offspring because their lack of being able to understand what their way of living is causing to another. The parenting persons may have done all that they were capable of doing for us, but it may not have been enough to give us what we needed as we grew up.

We are not only the product of what the authorities who raised us, influenced us, did with or to us, but sometimes even more so we had to absorb how they lived their life because there was no other equally strong influence available to us. We absorbed a lot of what they had as life views without realizing it. As we begin to realize what we absorbed we may get the mistaken notion that we are thinking or focusing only on the past when actually that past is not past until we can change its constant influence upon our present attitudes and behavior. If our past is in our present then we have to accept the realization that thinking about it and discussing it is really a “here and now” event and simply not an obsessive rehashing as some need to imagine.

We never know enough about our self if we cannot gently and kindly use that understanding to direct our life toward the most fruitful paths available to us. Being able to perceive why, what and how our attitudes are allowing or preventing us from searching for positive aspects of life may give us a chance of having less anxiety and depression. A lessening of psychological pain may then be enough to let us focus upon life in a more humanly productive manner.

People tend to think that Psychotherapy is only about traumas. Traumas definitely occur and affect one’s attitude toward oneself and life, but also simultaneously, even without trauma, the attitudes around us as we develop are also absorbed unconsciously without our awareness, and direct how we think, feel and act. For example, no matter what one looked like, if one was raised in an Asian household, one would feel, think, and act like an Asian, at least internally.

Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, as we practice it, is intended to try to assist you, deepen and enlarge your understanding of yourself so that you may become more gentle to yourself and those with whom you are interacting. Knowing yourself is seen as useful knowing if it assists you in your search for a life as you would want it to be if your wants are able to be satisfied. Until you explore yourself you may not really know enough to direct your life reasonably and gently.

Dr. Arnold and Dr. Maxine Lehrer
Clinical Psychologist
Associates in Psychotherapy, P.A.