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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Limits of Adult Personality Change Through Psychotherapy

Even with the best medical treatment the survivor of a serious medical condition is rarely as healthy as before their affliction overcame them. Similarly, while psychotherapy can effect profound improvement of behavior and capacities, a patient will never be as well developed emotionally as if they had experienced a "good-enough" parenting during their formative years.
Their healing can never be total since early life experience is the bedrock of the adult personality and the unconscious is powerful. Yet there are healing events outside therapy too: nurturance from a loving spouse; and helping others and identifying with them, as can happen with parents and health workers, creating interactions which foster the emotional growth of both
Having regrets, feeling guilt for past mistakes is part of the human experience and cannot be avoided when living a thoughtful life.

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