Making Choices

Dear Roseann

I grew up in a home with very controlling parents who gave me very little freedom.  As an adult I now have a difficult time making decisions on my own and often ask my friends and family for their opinions about everything from clothing choices to home decorating to whether or not I should accept a second date.  I often take the advice of others and then regret doing what was suggested.  One of my friends told me that maybe therapy would help me learn to make my own choices.  How might seeing a therapist help?

Janet, Logan Square

Dear Janet,

People often come to therapy with a problem hoping the therapist will offer a solution.  Making decisions is a challenging and never-ending life task.  A good therapist won’t solve your problems for you or make your decisions for you but will help you understand yourself better so that you’ll be better able to make choices and decisions that are best for you.  There’s no harm in asking trusted others for advice and allowing yourself to be influenced by other’s knowledge and wisdom but it sounds like you sometimes do what others want and you’re not sure what you want yourself.  In a good therapy relationship the patient learns to trust him/herself so that he/she can make decisions consistent with his/her own values and goals.  The therapist and patient can examine past choices asking what lessons can be learned from the past that will help the patient make future decisions and choices that will contribute to the creation of the life he/she wants.   If you’d like to schedule an initial consultation, send me an email or give me a call.  Your choice.

Be well,

Roseann

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