Getting to the root of the problem

A popular form of treatment for many things is behavioral treatment (and it’s more sophisticated cousin, cognitive-behavioral treatment).  While I think both of these sorts of treatments can be very useful, in some cases, they may just be a temporary solution to the problem.  If you think of your life as a garden and the weeds are the problems in your life, just changing the behavior is analogous to cutting the weed off at the soil.  The problem with that of course is that if you don’t get to the root of the problem (many problem behaviors have roots in the past, which behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatments typically don’t address) the weed is likely to come back (even if it doesn’t look exactly the same).  That’s why it is often important to dig in the past to get to the root of problems.  The past can stay in the past, as long as it is not getting in your way in the form of negative thinking or negative behaviors, but if is getting in your way—then you need to address it.