Posted by: rejuvenatembwc | December 15, 2009

Identity Crisis

A big portion of how we work with our patient’s here at Rejuvenate Mind-Body Wellness Center has to do with identity. What is identity? It seems that most of us have a vague sense of our identity but not that many of us spend the time to explore it. Identity is, essentially, what makes you a unique individual, what makes you different than any other person.

For a lot of us it gets a bit complicated trying to understand our identity. Basically, we begin by asking ourselves several questions – be as specific as possible.

1. What do I think other people think about me?(positive and negative)

2. What do I think about myself? (positive and negative)

3. Who or what experiences contributed to you forming these opinions?

You may find as you go through these questions is that you are detailing the underlying beliefs that operate your personality. That is, essentially,what identity is – a collection of beliefs about yourself through which you interpret reality. Identity is largely unconscious – out of our awareness. Most of us simply do not consciously examine our identity – however, this is crucial to understanding why you are depressed, anxious, stressed, or lost in life.

The professionals at Rejuvenate help you to put the pieces of the puzzle together in order to help you know yourself in whole new ways. Why are you chronically depressed? Because you have specific beliefs about who you are that take you toward depression. Why do you feel such anxiety about doing certain things? Because you identity is established around beliefs related to anxiety.

Answer the questions above. The positive aspects of what you know about yourself are your personality strengths. The negative are probably things that you would like to change. The negative aspects are very much subject to Cognitive Therapy and can be changed in drastic ways – mostly because they bring you pain and you, along with all humans, are hardwired to want to avoid pain.

The wonderful news is that as you begin to examine your identity you will find that you are in full control of who you are. The negative aspects of your identity are self created and maintained by dysfunctional belief patterns. You will learn that you decide who you want to be. Once you fully understand this the future is limitless.

Dr. Scott Symes

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