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  • Patricia Schuetz, M.A.

Building On the Basics

Updated: Feb 6

Working with a Therapist can be rewarding and a lot of hard work.

Working with a therapist involves digging deep into your own feelings, beliefs, dreams, and recognizing patterns within your relationships.


The relationship with your therapist can reveal many insights into your inner world allowing you to observe yourself, decide what to change, and determine who you really are.


Becoming Your True, Authentic, Genuine Self

Many people experience the world as putting expectations on them that do not fit. Sometimes people get stuck because they are trying to live up to others expectations. Becoming more authentic and true to yourself is wildly healing!

In therapy there has to be a starting place from which to build a foundation. Many people come to therapy focused on a current stressor. However, getting to a place of optimum mental health should be the goal and not an ad hoc, patchwork type approach to healing.


A few basics are needed to get started. Learning to be authentic is the most important foundation for individuals to build on. Being honest about your feelings with others is a good example. Being honest with yourself about who you truly are is being authentic. Being true to yourself is authentic.


Sounds pretty simple but many people are raised in dysfunctional environments in which they are taught from birth to NOT be authentic. "Be seen and not heard". Tip toe around Dad because otherwise, he will get mad. Don’t ask for what you need because you may appear ungrateful and selfish. Tell others their behavior is OK when it really isn’t.


Many people function in dysfunctional ways in their relationships because they simply don't know any other way of existing. But being free to be oneself can set a person free from old dysfunctional patterns that lead to the same painful dysfunctional relationships time and time again.


I teach my clients the "basics". These are some of the simple yet powerful interventions that can promote mental health and better relationships. Clients can choose any to start benefiting.


Getting started with the basics:

  • Learning to be authentic

  • Setting boundaries

  • Releasing control

  • Asking for what you need

  • Taking responsibility

  • Dialog with fears

  • Alone time

  • Refuse abuse

  • Low Drama

  • Choose self-care practices over addiction

  • Learn what underlies addictive behaviors

  • Manage/exit toxic relationships


I also introduce clients to self-care, self-healing practices which are another important part of taking care of your mental health. Clients can choose what appeals to them.


Healing Practices:

  • Meditation/Prayer

  • Gratitude

  • Journaling

  • Body dialog

  • Present moment or “present-ing”

  • Mindfulness

  • Expressive therapy: Art, Music, Poetry, Movies, Singing, Drumming

  • Guided relaxation

  • Relaxation response

  • Yoga/ Tai Chi

  • Loving-kindness



Get Inspired


Doing the basics with regular practice can help to create structure and a place for healing. If you are excited to learn new ways of having optimal mental health, get in touch!

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Patricia Schuetz, M.A.
MFT Registered Associate