Self-Examination: The Spirit of Positive Change

Anthony Cavuoti is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Torrance, CA

There is a spirit for change in the air. It feels like the best I heard about the ‘60s.  More people are losing their fear about things they shouldn’t have. People are challenging cultural and social assumptions. People are realizing more quickly that if they more fully accept the diversity of others, they’ll more fully accept themselves, finding peace in their individual diversity. People are realizing peace is similar to happiness. Both are the result of self-examination and effort, daring and compassion. 

We’re seeing a great synergy of culture, psychology, and spirituality, as well as just plain human decency.  People are less anxious about being cruel and indifferent to each other and taking more pride in their ability to be authentic, authentic, and understanding with one another. People are less afraid to show up as they are in real life. People are more capable and motivated to integrate their personality better because they can accept others and themselves with all their latent or manifest differences more fully, compassionately, and with more respect.

Changing ideas about Diversity and Vulnerability

People are changing the way they see vulnerability and diversity. People are becoming more aware of what is important: being vulnerable with the true purpose. More people interpret vulnerability as a call and invitation to explore, to be brave, to be compassionate, and to be brave. Rather than a signal to lash back, to hide, attack shamefully or to judge, it is a signal to explore, to explore, to be kind, to be kind, to be brave, to be vulnerable, to be vulnerable, and to be brave. More people are realizing the power to let others be themselves and follow through. People of all races and orientations are realizing that by allowing others to be themselves, they can make more space in their hearts and minds to allow for their own diversity. They’re coming to fully know that others’ diversity is not a threat and never has been. Acceptance creates space in the inner and outer worlds for all parties to become more authentic, integrated, and functional personalities, which can be more motivated and able work in harmony with one another.  

Psychotherapists’ Personal Growth Benefits Everyone

This is something I love as a psychotherapist and in my personal life.   It is always a joy to see other psychotherapists engage in authentic growth, both intellectually, technically, and as complete, whole humans.   

I regularly engage in support groups with other psychotherapists. This allows us to mutually support each other to grow and overcome potential barriers. Therapy can help clients feel more accepted and vibrant by growing as individuals. They benefit from our growth in many ways — some ineffable, others more concrete. We can help our clients to process their lives more fully and have a more intimate encounter with their entire biography. This will enable them to confront and move past the unconscious defenses they have acquired from their family and adopt new attitudes, behavior patterns, and behaviors that are more in line with their natural emerging self. They are taking greater responsibility for their ever-emerging Self and are less likely to allow destructive attitudes and behaviors to continue in destructive relationships.

The Individual, Society, And the Planet

As human beings, it is now that we are at the point where we can live in harmony with each other. This is essential for the survival of each of us individually. It’s not just about our own perpetuation either: Perhaps, as Jung and Einstein both suspected, most of the life on the planet now depends on us as a species understanding ourselves, especially our propensity for destruction, and counterbalancing our weaknesses with our capacity to show each other love, tolerance, and acceptance. Our technology has outstripped our ability to harmony. We must humanize the machine, as Joseph Campbell once stated.  

Personal Growth as the starting point for change

I believe we can end the evil of our destructiveness by being more compassionate towards each other, and especially our children. We must recognize and stop perpetuating our tendency to be indifferent to ourselves. We cannot continue to minimize, deny, or glorify the cruelty and neglect that occurred to us as children. We cannot go on ignoring this unconscious reservoir of destruction — in doing so, we become unconscious conspirators, perpetuating the neglect and abuse that was inflicted upon us in the name of upbringing and of discipline.  

The interconnectedness of personal growth

This unconscious, societal, and cultural emotional blind spot cannot be allowed to continue in the shadow of our denial. It is impossible to minimize its negative effect on our emotional states as adults. We are all influenced by the indifferent, harsh, and cruel attitudes of our parents as children. This is reflected in our neural development and imprinting. It also influences our attitudes towards ourselves and others as adults. We can’t continue (unconsciously) to perpetuate these invisible destructive forces upon our children and the next generation. Therapists need to examine their lives and discover the truth. We cannot continue to perpetuate our clients’ unconscious defenses. Our clients can only achieve their goals if they have their own emotional health. This gives them the ability to let go of the barriers of bigotry and sexism, as well as drugs, racism, and cruelty. This healthy emotional independence allows us to be more authentic and to show our true selves to others. It also frees us from a dysfunctional nervous system that was conditioned to accept and tolerate indifferentness and unconditional kindness.   

Refer to

Campbell, J. (2008). The hero with a thousand face faces. New World Library.

Chardin, P. T. de. (2008). The phenomenon of man. Harper Perennial Modern Thought. Einstein, A. (1949). The world as it appears to me. (A. Harris Trans. Philosophical Library. Jung, C. G. (2006). The undiscovered self. (H. R. F. Carrington Trans. Signet Book. 

Miller, A. (1997). The drama of a gifted child: The search after the true self, revised edition. Basic Books




© Copyright 2021 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Anthony Cavuoti (Marriage and Family Therapist in Torrance CA), granted permission to publish

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