Peter Dennis Pautz, LICSW, DCSW, BCD
Finding Your Best Self

Dr. Murray Bowen and Dr. Michael Kerr described a clear difference between one's "Basic Self" and one's "Functional Self."

Photo courtesy of celieceaurea.com (stock.xchng- http://sxc.hu)In times of low stress, we tend to function better: our relationships exhibit more connection, we behave more in accord with our values and our "True Self," our bodies are healthier within the limits of our genetic predispositions, and we think more clearly in both the personal and productive areas of our lives.

When stress (or anxiety) is higher, any of our "systems" may suffer: relationships become discordant, we lose the sense of living our "True Self," we suffer physical and emotional symptoms based on our genetic make-up, and we react more emotionally and automatically rather than with clear thinking and planning.

Among the "systems" that may be affected are the genetic, physiological, individual, interpersonal, familial, societal, and cultural.

Finding your "Best Self" requires an awareness of your starting point, who you are within the context of your relationships, both historically and in the present. Operating from an understanding of your emotional processes and working on "Self" permits you to gain choices within the various and interacting "systems" of your life and to maximize your functioning.


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