The core of psychotherapy is examining why you keep getting what you don’t want and are not getting what you think you want from people. Different schools of therapy use different terms to describe this core issue. Behavioral therapists talk about what you inadvertently reinforce through your actions or inactions. On the other hand, psychoanalytically oriented therapists (i.e., those following Freudian approaches) talk about unconscious conflicts. However, no matter your therapist’s theoretical orientation, a good therapist will eventually address your core issue.
In my approach to doing therapy, I like to eventually figure out what your “core conflictual relationship theme”, or “CCRT”, is. We all have a CCRT. In fact, we all have multiple CCRTs. But we all have one CCRT that lies at the root of most of our problematic issues, no matter who we are. Of course, that core CCRT is different for each of use. A good therapist eventually will help you to discover your core CCRT.
In a nutshell, the parts of a CCRT are a Wish (i.e., what you want), what you Expect to get, how you Act given what you expect to get or not get, and how you React or Respond to what you do get or don’t get. A useful acronym to remember this dynamic sequence is WEAR. I like this acronym because we all wear our expectations on our bodies in one way or another. Here is one example from a recent session I had with a patient.
This patient wantsher daughter to respect her. She expects that her daughter will continue to act disrespectfully given their history together. Nevertheless, this patient continues to actin ways that reinforce her daughter’s continued disrespect. And to make matters worse for her, my patient’s response to being disrespected by her daughter further reinforces her daughter’s disrespectful behavior. Our sessions have been focused on helping the patient understand this dynamic which is her Core Conflictual Relation Theme or CCRT with the goal of helping her modify it.
Unfortunately, our CCRTs are largely unconscious. So, as your therapist, I would first help you recognize your CCRT. Once we both recognize your CCRT, our job is to work together to understand your CCRT. And once we understand it, our job is to work together to change this CCRT in a realistic way so you can have a better life. More on this approach to how I do therapy in a future blog entry.
Dr. Eimer proudly serves patients in West Pam Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and surrounding areas.