The Effect of Therapy
Rev. Christopher Smith Says...
Anonymous' question realy asks whether therapy can alter someone's personality or whether it is simply one more vehicle that will make them better at faking certain feelings and behaviours. The simple answer is that it depends.
The first point is that in some situations, the mere repeated act of "faking it" can be a significant way of actually altering the underlying thinking process. What we do does have an effect on what we think. Different than this person's situation, but a person who repeatedly is exposed to and succeeds in completing something that thy are convinced they cannot do will eventually have enought evidence to change their belief to realizing they can do it.
The second point is that therapy does not make you do things. Therapy explores situations, explores your feelings, explores your thought processes, but the choice around change really comes from the person who is going through therapy. If you go into therapy with an attitude that you do not need or want to change and nothing happens to change that perspective, then you will not change. The poser of the question seems in their description to be expressing resistance to change.
The third point is that there are a number of outcomes that are possible from therapy. It is possible that your life and outlook will really be changed (depending on what you and your therapist find about what is underlying your present attitude and perspective). It is possible that therpay will teach you to be better at faking it - at being able to fit into society without fundamental change happening). It is also possible that through the course of therapy, you will come to own your present perspective and find ways to be able to express it in ways others can hear (there are people who have found ways to lead more solitary lives that were accepted).
The bottom line is that therapy is not a magic process. It is not a process that is independent of you and your involvement in it. These are what will determine, along with the skills and qualifications of your therapist, what the outcome will be.
Page last updated Dec 27, 2012