Reality Attunement Therapy Explained

If you have spent time either studying psychology and/or researching therapists, it has probably become apparent that there are many therapeutic approaches adopted by therapists for decades. These theories include cognitive-behavioral, existential, Gestalt, dialectical behavior therapy, etc. At the core of each theory is a goal of heightening one’s alignment with the momentary, experiential unfolding of life or the “true” nature of things. When I refer to “truth” I refer not to an objective, scientifically verifiable truth, but rather to a reality found in a felt, experiential sense beyond thought-driven notions about this experience.

The “truth” that each of us strives to realize equates to what is commonly referred to as “reality.” Most psychological or existential suffering follows from an internalized, usually unconscious, rejection or denial of the true nature of things. This “rejection” often manifests in the form of delusional thinking such as if only certain external outcomes would materialize, then I will reach a state that I conceive of as “happiness.”

Such thinking gives rise to strategies and defenses often resulting from early childhood interactions with primary caretaker(s) that led to an internalized notion that the world is unsafe/threatening to one’s survival. This underlying fear then leads one to reject or distort his or her experience, avoid situations that he or she might consider potentially threatening, or seek artificial means of mood elevation that chemically approximate the illusion that everything is good.

As one proceeds into and through adulthood relying on these increasingly entrenched strategies and defenses, life becomes increasingly narrow, limited, isolated and precarious. Many people then try to find happiness or contentment by changing partners, employment, geographical location, etc. Ultimately such changes lead to disappointment as they are inherently unsatisfying. As these disappointments grow, unhappiness mounts.

It is at this point that many adults will initially seek out psychotherapy. My Reality Attunement Therapy works to help clients heighten their awareness of such outmoded strategies and defenses. It is this awareness that facilitates conscious processing, and it is such processing that can ultimately allow one to transcend their maladaptive approaches to experience. Clients become increasingly attuned to reality.

Reality Attunement Therapy may draw on other more “classic” theories of therapeutic change. For example, a cognitive approach is often instrumental in helping clients effectively challenge entrenched beliefs about the ways in which external circumstances must manifest in order to become “happy.” An existential approach may be employed to help clients effectively face basic questions surrounding existence and death ultimately heightening a client’s realization that these fundamental realities of life need not be experientially crippling.

For a free initial consultation to learn more about Reality Attunement Therapy, contact Mike Lubofsky, J.D., M.A. at (415) 508-6263 or visit Mike is a psychotherapist based in Oakland, California and also offers psychotherapy online at