By Cameron Yarbrough, MFT
Human beings were the original self-optimizers. The term self-optimization is derived from new cellular networks that are self-healing and self-organizing. Without intervention, these networks can self select for greater efficiency, speed, and repair. The human relational network that translates into attachment, love, work and play operates under similar principles. Humans are socially networked, and self-optimize in that context. As individuals we can rebound from disrepair to achieve incredible emotional, professional or athletic goals. This optimizing process is greatly accelerated by selecting for healthier individuals in the immediate social network and even more so by adding a relationship with a modern therapist.
Modern therapy is different from your parent’s generation of therapy
In new school therapy there is more intervention and therefore more relationship. Have you ever heard someone say “I went to a therapist and all they did was parrot what I said, and I asked myself, why am I paying for this?” Young professionals especially, demand more value and faster results. Modern therapists are not parrots, they are more active, and more disclosing of their own thoughts, ideas and feelings. In this new era, therapists enter into a professional relationship with their clients that feels organic and genuine.
Modern therapy can bring faster results
Therapy still gets a bad rap for being too slow. Admittedly speed matters in the 21st century, and especially in the tech industry. For example, a startup executive may have only 1-2 years of runway to produce results needed for a next round of funding. That person doesn’t have 5-10 years to improve their leadership style – they have 6 months. Reflective listening is great but it is not enough for those who need a faster pace. Young execs need a therapist to offer guidance, relationship solutions, and advocacy.
Human beings change via relationship
Humans are not as individual as they might think. Attachment is core to our DNA and a defining survival strategy that sets us apart from other animals. We are so affected by those with whom we relate that our psyche becomes a mirror of various relationships we maintain over time. For this very reason self optimization occurs as we strategize about who we connect with most regularly. Optimization may require a restructuring of a social network, and maybe hiring some professionals such as therapists and executive coaches.
By seeking out a modern therapist, high functioning professionals can self optimize for higher EQ, better leadership style, and healthier marriage. In order to move beyond unconscious constraints that may limit performance, a self aware professional should consider the most important reorganization to include relationship and leadership professionals.
Cameron Yarbrough, MFT is a therapist, executive coach, and founder of The Well Clinic.
Original Image by Kelly Mansfield. CC flickr.