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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Time To Be Yourself

November 2004


As we all know, what happened to us growing up helped to make us the adults that we are today. All the issues from the past, good, bad or ugly have an impact on us. What is important to know is if those issues are interfering with our lives today.


For example, if you grew up in an alcoholic household and your spouse takes a drink, you may react very strongly. It is important to honestly assess if your partner occasionally takes a drink or does he get drunk on a regular occurrence. Perhaps you grew up in a home where there was violence. Your spouse gets angry with you, and you cower against the wall even though there has never been even a hint of violence.


Now, these are more extreme situations, however, we all react the way we were taught to as a child. Perhaps we do not express our emotions because that wasn’t allowed while we were growing up. Perhaps we give everyone we know gifts because our parents tried to buy our love.


All of these are normal reactions, but they may not be how we want to react in any given situation. So, the challenge for each of us is to honestly assess if we are reacting in ways that are not appropriate for a situation. We may need to ask others to help us evaluate our behavior. If we decide that we need to change our behavior, it is important that we give ourselves time to learn a new behavior and not beat ourselves up if we do not get right the first, or second, or twelfth, try.


Give yourself time to learn who you want to be, not just a reaction to your childhood. And enjoy the journey.


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