How do I identify disruptive patterns?

Have you ever noticed that in certain areas of life, you or someone you know tend to somehow, almost curiously, end up in similar situations over and over again? Sometimes these patterns occur even though we are making no conscious effort to repeat this pattern or even despite attempts to actively choose something different. It’s not unusual for these types of patterns to be sources of concern or cause significant consternation. Intimate relationships, career choices, and self-destructive behaviors can all be impacted by such patterns.

Sometimes people repeat such disruptive patterns because of motives or desires that they may not fully understand.

Many clinicians in the psychology field have noticed a tendency for people to be drawn to situations that trigger unresolved traumas or situations from earlier in their lives. A child who has an abusive parent may later be repeatedly drawn to abusive partners. A person who grew up in a controlling environment may end up continuously taking jobs in which they feel stifled. Someone who was often abandoned may be drawn, unintentionally to people who will become close to them and then suddenly detach and leave.

Therapy can serve a two-fold function. First, it allows these “patterns” to be explored and examined via treatment before they reach critical mass in your life; and if you’re in a situation in which disruptive patterns have already proved troublesome, through treatment, you’ll have the potential for growth, insight, and to ultimately find ways to break these patterns moving forward.