Organising Your Experiences
Life can be difficult, presenting us with problems that we can find hard to master, and can leave us feeling confused and frustrated. It's natural for us to try and quickly find an immediate understanding to these problems in the hope that they’ll resolve. However, this process can often get in the way of real understanding.
The limits to understanding
The drawback to this approach? The quick understandings that we come up with might look good on the surface but often don’t really help. Our understanding is limited and superficial because we haven't taken the time to really understand the problem. Similarly, we sometimes don't take the time to really understand ourselves and our role in the problem. If we don't do this, then any quick understanding we have may not fit our temperament or the circumstances of our life; this may in the end only make the situation worse.
We are formed by how we make sense of experience
Whilst this might seem obvious, it can actually be a more of a problem than we first thought. Our sense of who we are is formed by the way that we make sense of the circumstances around us, or in other words, how we organise our experience. We organise these experiences into unconscious patterns that are reinforced with every experience we have. These patterns become so strong that we make sense of all of our experiences through these patterns, even when the circumstances don't really fit them. Worst of all we don't easily have direct access to the way we organise our experiences.
A desire to understand
A desire to understand themselves is one of the reasons that people start the process of psychotherapy. Through the process, they come to see how they have organised of their experiences and made sense of the world. Making these unconscious processes conscious is the first step to challenging and eventually changing these patterns.
– Tim Hill
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