The Basis of Most Psychological and Psychiatric Problems


How did this happen to me?

By Rita Haley, Ph.D.


Most of the psychological and psychiatric problems you experience are caused by impediments you internalized in your youth.

While there is much talk about neurotransmitter imbalance(typically referred to as "hormonal imbalances") , left undiscussed is what causes these imbalances to occur. And, the cause is bumping into old, typically unrecognized, wounds created when the internalized impediments were being erected.

Hence, to reiterate, the cause of most of the psychological and psychiatric problems people experience are the impediments they internalized when they were younger.

How did you get stuck with such “crummy” constraints?

From the moment you are born, you begin to develop a SELF. For our purposes here, we call her your Real SELF though initially she was your only SELF.




Unless you grew up in “PerfectLand,” as a child, in response to the demands of your environment[1], you experienced aspects of you, i.e., of your Real SELF, as being unacceptable. (Often those unacceptable aspects related to needs that you as a child had that your environment couldn't fill, not because it didn't want to but because it couldn't give you what it itself didn't have.)  Thus, you began to experience your Real SELF as being divided into two components: The Accepted and the Unaccepted Aspects of your Real SELF.




Knowing you could not survive on your own, you were terrified of being rejected and abandoned, and so experienced Survival Fear. In order to escape this unbearable fear, you constrained the Unaccepted Aspects of your Real SELF and created a substitute for them. This substitute is an inauthentic subsidiary Self, which SFT labels the Objectified Self[2]




While initially the Objectified Self was a masking Self meant to hide the Unaccepted Aspects of the Real Self, you continued to experience Survival Fear and so you went further in your efforts to escape it. To ensure that the Unaccepted Aspects of your Real SELF could not be activated, you empowered your Objectified Self to suppress, repress, and conceptually confine and encage these aspects.




You created and empowered your Objectified Self so that you could survive and escape Survival Fear. To fulfill its purpose, the Objectified Self would like to destroy the Unaccepted Aspects of your Real SELF. Fortunately, this is impossible. But, to emphasize your efforts to abandon those aspects of your SELF, SFT labels them, as a group, the Rejected Real SELF.

Despite the efforts to eject your Rejected Real SELF, it remains a living, growing, sensate part of your SELF. The Objectified Self can contain and confine it only by keeping it disempowered.So, it works to do so, creating more shoulds and more pressure to obey them. And, in its fearfulness, the Objectified Self constricts larger areas of the Real SELF to ensure avoidance of the Survival Fear. So a larger part of your Real SELF is confined. But, it continues to exist, to feel, and, peering out from its entrapment, to learn and grow.




Most of the psychological barriers and emotional difficulties you experience are caused by the continued empowerment of your Objectified SELF and suppression of your Rejected Real SELF.

While psychotropic medications such as antidepressants and anxiolytics will help ameliorate your symptoms, they do not impact the underlying causes of your difficulties. To resolve your psychological and psychiatric problems for the short and long terms, you need to free your Rejected Real SELF and disempower your Objectified Self. Doing so puts your entire Real SELF in charge of YOU and allows you to lead a more healthful, constructive, rewarding life. This is the work of SFT SELF-Focused Therapy.