We Are Not Who We “Think” We Are with Kate Gustin, Ph.D.

Kate GustinIt is easy to get caught up in our mind’s version of who we are. Our thoughts do a great job of trying to define us as an island, as a discrete individual with a particular narrative about who we think we are. This construct of creating our personal myths begins when, as toddlers, we start to use language. Gustin has observed that many of her clients have a concept of themselves at odds with what she sees in them. She says, “I observed that each person would come in with a very particular narrative, a story about who they believed themselves to be and usually these stories were somewhat stressful. They had concepts of themselves as broken, or damaged, or dysfunctional. It struck me that each person is carrying a particular image of themselves that is at odds with the capable, lovable person I was seeing in front of me. They were living their mind’s reality and it was so out of sync with their strengths and their capacities.” She emphasizes the concept of “selfing” which, rather than a fixed identity, is an on-going process that supports an openness to experience life as an ongoing and ever-changing process without attachment to personal outcomes or storylines.

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