We are taught calculus algorithms, textual analysis of great literature, Newton’s laws of motion—we even had gym class—but we’re never taught the one thing that will profoundly improve our experience of life: how to manage our minds.
It’s actual craziness: Most people’s ultimate goal in life is happiness, or, as we in the field call it, psychological health. And yet, no one ever teaches it to us.
To add to that, we’ve learned to deal with our psychological health only when it’s an acute problem—just as most of us only go to the doctor when we’re sick.
In other words, if you go to the doctor with pneumonia, she’ll give you a course of treatment. But if you show up saying, “I’m fine, but I’d like to be extra healthy,” she’ll call in the next patient and send you on your merry way. Psychological treatment is not much different. The field is focused on treating what’s wrong—depression, pathology, personality disorders-and rarely on getting you past the level of “cured.”
Cured takes you from negative to zero.
Who wants to live at zero? Who wants to settle for merely “not miserable” or “not dysfunctional”?
The absence of illness does not equal health. Real health is about enhancing the positive.
But… would you believe that Positive Psychology—the study of optimal psychological health—didn’t exist until a little more than 15 years ago? And it so happens that I was one of the first 33 people in history to receive a degree in Positive Psychology. I love this field of study so much I returned back to the University of Pennsylvania twice to teach the master’s students.
My practice, grounded in developmental and positive psychological science, is focused on helping you make demonstrable change and take action toward the life you want—the life you really want, not should want. Finding the original source of your sticking points is essential, but too often the therapy process stops there. It doesn’t give you a framework to apply what you’ve learned about your story in order to forge a new and satisfying path.
And by the way: it’s malpractice for a therapist to see you for 15 years without moving past the same place you started in. If your friends and family don’t notice a change in you, I’m not doing my job.