My Online Psychotherapy Ph

You Repeat What You Don’t Repair

Here’s a common sight in psychotherapy: You repeat what you don’t repair.

When things remain unresolved, that’s when history can automatically repeat itself. Often. 

Sonny is beaten up by his girlfriend. Both verbally and physically. After almost a year, he has decided to break up with her.

What took him that long? There’s a logical but hidden psychological root for this.

Sonny was raised by a mother who verbally and physically abused him. 

For some reason, he found himself drawn to a woman who has similarities to his toxic mother.

He looked to receive from his girlfriend what he didn’t get from his mother. 

The patterns between the mother and girlfriend were strikingly familiar and easier to replicate for Sonny. 

And because of the familiar similarities, so was the familiar unhappy ending.

You repeat what you don’t repair.

We all long for resolution. We are driven to find a closure to things that remain unresolved.

When deprived of feeling loved, secure, or good enough, it’s very normal to be driven to get the “supply.”

The choice to “repeat history” to get it is not a conscious one. Somewhere inside the person is fueling it. It wants to stay hidden.

Cecil Osborne, in his book “The Art of Understanding Yourself,” puts it this way:

“The conscious and unconscious feelings you have about yourself constitute your self image. This self image you will act out in life.You will always tend to act in harmony with it.”

In order to heal and live a new life, the hidden automatic thoughts and feelings driving one’s unhealthy choice and bad self image need to be unpacked.

In psychotherapy, those unconscious automatic thoughts and feelings are brought more and more into deeper awareness.

The deeper the awareness, the better you avoid being driven by historical distortions and wants.

The deeper the awareness, the more you can make clear and intentional choices. 

“It is very obvious that we are influenced not by ‘facts’ but by our interpretation of facts.”

— Dr. Alfred Adler

Repair or history will repeat itself.


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you repeat what you don’t repair


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