Social context can be the source of our stresses and personal problems, generating a tension that inhibits growth and suffocates relationships. Likewise, we act out psychological issues through social or cultural behaviors that are limiting or even risky. Society or social groups may have unhealthy tendencies that bear down on us, or harsh realities may upset the balance of our lives.

A woman might feel outside pressure to get married to have children. A couple may be on the brink of divorce, because their need for the outward signs of material success have made them emotional strangers. A man may have bursts of rage in the workplace, because his father demanded perfection. An individual who keeps up with the daily news may slide into a depression.

A licensed social worker understands the interaction of both the private and the public realms in forming identity and fostering adaptations. She helps the client identify the distinction between what we believe society expects of us and our true nature. She helps us take off our masks and hold up the mirror to see our real selves, and she gives us the means to break free of conditioning to find our authentic expression.