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Most folks make resolutions about their most core issues. With or without our own awareness of the links, the issues that plague us year after year are entrenched because they deeply rooted in themes from childhood.

We love to think that if we just leverage some sound, rational thinking and muster up our willpower, we should be able to change behaviors despite years of battling them. There are plenty of messages out there that support that notion; from Dr. Phil, and "evidence-based treatments", to blogs with "8 steps to ..." and the guru of the day. Many of those things can be great, but if they were all it took to change, we would have done it already.

Entrenched...core...the issues that plague us year after year despite all our sincere efforts to shifts them...these are the sacred ground of psychotherapy. 

Sometimes clients come to therapy in response to difficult events or moods in their lives; divorce, loss, work or relationship complications, stress, anxiety or depression. While therapy can certainly help with those, a psychotherapist has always got their eye on the issues that keep us bound from the inside; the issues that drive us to select the people we bring into our lives, the dynamics we generate with others, the behaviors we developed during circumstances that no longer exist, the issues we struggle with that make no sense at all to us but which our therapist will help us understand their relevance. 

So, you know your resolutions, your have built your resolve, now put the tools you need in place to make them happen. If this isn't the first year you have found yourself with the same resolution, then psychotherapy is a key tool to put in place.

Smith is the founder/director of Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, which offers clinical services with seasoned, cultural competent clinicians throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

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