In June 4, 2003
raises some good questions about knowing oneself. That daylog
has inspired this writeup.
It is difficult to understand oneself if one is unwilling to accept the various aspects of a self:
- There are chemical reactions that have a large amount of control over its emotional states.
- Many of its tendencies come from evolution which essentially reinforces the ability to reproduce, not the skill of living happily.
- Evidence of a self apparently requires a highly complex biological machine and yet it seems to retain some inexplicable degrees of freedom withint that machine.
- It is impossible to prevent other people from changing the brain and therefore also changing essential (but often transient) qualities of the self.
If you choose to hire a therapist
, be aware of how the relationship between you and the therapist works. Most of us perceive a therapist as an authority figure and this often makes us place unwarranted faith in things the therapist says. A well known bible verse points out that the wisdom of a prophet is lost on those who know him. It doesn't say why, but it seems to me that familiarity
reduces the amount of time friends and family spend considering the ideas they trade with each other. If we read it in a book, or we hear it on the news, we're more likely to believe it. The flip side
of this is that books and TV and therapists often end up with more influence than is warrant
I am in no way advocating distrust
of or disdain
. Rather, it's important to recognize that in order to do his or her job, the therapist might need to learn some things about you. As far as I know, therapists generally encourage their patients to open up and not to feel intimidated. What I don't think they do is point out that patients may unknowingly and unintentionally censor
themselves because of the therapist's perceived authority figure status.