Know thyself and upgrade to a better version of you

This is one of the main reasons to come to therapy. To learn about yourself. “know thyself” is a phrase that originates in ancient Greece and has a variety of meanings in philosophy and literature dating back to Socrates who stated that it seems useless to seek out information on things outside oneself until one knows themselves. In fact, how can we claim to know anything until we know ourselves? What inspires me? What brings me down? What do I need to do daily to be happy, content, satisfied, and blissful? What sort of people are toxic to me? What are the behavior patterns I am practicing now and are they serving me well? What sort of patterns do I make in how I relate to the opposite sex, my work, my family? And so on.
Knowing ourselves has an obvious intrinsic value but it also paves the way to know others. We might identify something of ourselves in others. This helps us relate and have a sense of their experience. This strengthens our ability to be compassionate as well as engage in meaningful ways with others. Therefore knowing ourselves improves relationships with others. The inverse is also true, when we do not identify or relate with someone, self- knowledge is what informs us that we are NOT identifying and leads us to become more curious about the other. Without self- knowledge we might assume that we are simpatico with our friend and assume we understand their experience, when in fact we do not. Self- knowledge involves knowing our bodies, our minds, our emotions, and our behaviors.
Psychotherapy gives us the method of study to know ourselves. In therapy sessions I use various techniques to help you know yourself. Awareness is the most important and most readily used technique we will practice. Before you embark on changing anything in your life or about yourself, you must become aware of your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Together, we can usually trace the beginnings of favored behavior patterns that have become habitual over time. Typically, all patterns of behavior have a very useful and practical origin and somehow we never noticed that its usefulness faded over the years. You may be using, old, outdated coping that is no longer that useful and, in fact, could be working against you. You will discover that through your therapy sessions.
Let’s use a technology metaphor, we are forever “upgrading” outdated technology. Wouldn’t it make sense to upgrade our self-knowledge technology periodically? Maybe you are still running version 1.0 or 2.0 and you are now 30 or 40 years old. Therapy is like upgrading to a new and improved version of yourself through self-knowledge.