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Who Are We?

March 8, 2017 - - 0 Comments

Who Are We?


The million dollar question we often pose to clients in treatment is who are we? The answers a therapist, counselor, or case manager will get varies depending in the individual they are working with. Often, clients respond with what they identify as, be it their name, race, sex, and or culture. Other times, some introspective clients will discuss how they are a product of their environment. In some instances, some clients will introduce themselves by the mental health labels and stigmas that have been given to them by professionals from previous treatment facilities, family, and friends. There are many answers to the question of who we are but what’s important about how we answer this question is remembering that we have a choice to participate in the identity of which we resonate with the most.


Some people can answer the question with their particular birth order/place in the family, or as a fan of a particular sports team, or even the hobbies they participate in. Are you just a mother, father, brother, sister, cousin or best friend who happens to love skiing as much as you do red velvet cheesecake? If you were to introduce an individual who was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, would you say that they were an anxious person or their anxiety? The same can be said for someone with depression or any other mood disorders. What is important to remember, is that we are not our thoughts, feelings, or emotions. We are simply the beings that are able to experience them. After utilizing our awareness, we are able to translate that into our own perception of the moment. The beautiful thing to note in this whole scenario is that we have control over who it is that we are! I am a therapist, but I am also a social worker, but I am also a Clippers fan who loves country fried steak and gravy.


I would hope that the answer an individual gives when asked who they are varies depending on how much time has passed since the last inquiry. The necessity for the fluidity of this introspective answer is based on my own biased opinion that as life continues to go on, so should we. The evolution of our personality is something that we are all privy to but unfortunately, is not taken advantage of by everyone who can do so. We choose to be stuck in our personalities or characteristics because we find a sense of comfort in them. We would rather find frustration in growth rather than seeing it as an opportunity for a profound exploration of self. Whether or not an individual, client or professional, chooses to participate in this self examination isn’t important. What is worth delving into is understanding that we have a choice every single moment. We can condemn ourselves  to be the victims of circumstance or allow us to be the victors of tribulation. Either way, it’s empowering to realize that with clarity and awareness, we can make life, love, ourselves however we want to be. Choice, that’s who we really are.

John Pascua ASW

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