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Psychotherapy does not fit the stereotype of someone lying on a couch staring at the ceiling and endlessly blaming their parents and others for the misery of their lives. It is not just a 'big moan' session after session. Instead, it is a process of self-discovery--of which our relationship to our parents is but one of many relationships that have shaped our lives. In psychotherapy, it is vital to understand our family of origin, because how people connected (or frequently didn't connect) with each other and how they loved or hurt each other, leaves a memory imprinted in each of us. These early relationships will influence how we relate across subsequent important relationships throughout our lives. If we are conscious of these patterns, we can work with them, change the dynamic, and potentially avoid recreating them. If we are unconscious of our patterns, we are in fact doomed to repeat them.

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