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Monterey Institute of Psychotherapy

Monterey Institute of Mental Health | Dr. Mark Schwartz and Lori Galperin MSW, LCSW

Personal Development


​An individual can be capable, healthy, and productive and still not feel they are living life fully.  A person can be outwardly a success, but inwardly, feel empty.  Some people are even living a life that others aspire to, yet feels as though they are living a life not their own – a life designed FOR them but not true TO them. 

​Many people overcome tremendous obstacles and impediments to attain a sense of freedom or accomplishment.  Some are then fortunate enough to find precisely their niche, the thing they were meant to do, the highest mode of being of service – for them – in a way that creates great fulfillment.  Others strive equally hard, achieve immensely, and yet feel it to be a hollow victory or an ongoing burden rather than a joy. 

​Some have been so intent on hurdling obstacles – and perhaps, had to be – that personal satisfaction as a goal or deep connection to self, others, or to a spiritually rich path has, by necessity, fallen by the wayside. 

​Many clients as well have described overcoming great odds to recover from hardship, disorders and/or addiction, yet still wonder precisely what their purpose is…what have they survived in order to do or be?  Personal development is actually rather a “vanilla” term for issues so deeply significant and existential.  One philosophy that has particularly profound and universally applicable implications for self unfolding is that of “Unique Self” is that each person’s existence is significant, meaningful and without substitute.  No one is an "extra" on the set of life.  Whether through modern life, personal suffering or disconnection, many people come to feel isolated, insignificant or without specialness.  Some philosophies even equate “specialness” with arrogance, egotism or narcissism.  Yet every human being needs and deserves to experience the fullness of  their existence and come to know the “gift” they are here to give – through their being an is so doing, experience a life not simply of endurance, survival, or productivity, but of deep meaning.