Socrates. He said this piece below.
Unexamined life. It’s not worth living.
The name of Socrates echoes through centuries in our civilization with one thought.
He could not had known there would be lots of patients seeking help in the therapy room. Or, lots of other people around the world struggling with making sense of life.
To most of these multitudes of ordinary people, Socrates is a vaguely known ancient philosopher. They possibly never read his aphorism nor any pieces of sentence he wrote.
But were Lisa, one of my patients, ever to read those words about the “unexamined life,” she’d know how to make of it. It has direct meaning and application for her own life.
With it, she’d be able to study the reasons for her addictions. Her unhappiness. Her string of broken relationships and suicidal attempts.
Lisa, as she goes deeper examining her life, would be able to make herself aware not only one portion of it. One dealt by circumstance or chance.
But most essentially, of the other part as well: the role she “plays in it.” The choices she made. The thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that she’s totally responsible for.
It’s within this context where psychotherapy takes place. The earnest examination of one’s life that opens the way to conscious choices to repair and improve it. One that adds lasting value and rewards to it.