Just a refresher on DR. HARLEY'S professional opinion about this type of counseling - and that is what we are here for, after all. We ARE NOT professionals, only peers, which is why it is important to stick to HIS opinion and not substitute our own:

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"Some counselors think it's a good idea to "resolve issues of the past" by talking about them week after week, month after month, year after year. It keeps these counselors in business, but does nothing to resolve the issue. In fact, it usually makes their poor clients chronically depressed.

My experience as a Clinical Psychologist has proven to me that dredging up unpleasant experiences of the past merely brings the unhappiness of the past into the present. The problems of the present are difficult enough to solve without spending time and energy trying to resolve issues of the past, which are essentially unresolvable. You can make your future happy, but you can't do a thing about bad experiences of the past, except think and talk about them -- and that makes the bad experiences of the past, bad experiences of the present." Dr. Willard Harley


here

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An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.
here

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One of the reasons I'm not so keen on dredging up the past as a part of therapy is that it brings up memories that carry resentment along with them. If I'm not careful, a single counseling session can open up such a can of worms that the presenting problem gets lost in a flood of new and painful memories. If the goal of therapy is to "resolve" every past issue, that seems to me to be a good way to keep people coming for therapy for the rest of their lives. That's because it's an insurmountable goal. We simply cannot resolve everything that's ever bothered us.


Instead, I tend to focus my attention on the present and the future, because they are what we can all do something about. The past is over and done with. Why waste our effort on the past when the future is upon us. Granted, it's useful to learn lessons from the past, but if we dwell on the past, we take our eyes off the future which can lead to disaster.



I personally believe that therapy should focus most attention, not on the past, but on ways to make the future sensational.
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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101