Finding a Reason to Change: Doing It for Them
Many people come to psychotherapy because of something that they notice about themselves that they would like to change. They have a basic belief in themselves and a drive to change that motivates them to be different. But what can you do if this basic belief isn’t there? What motivates change then?
For many people, the requirements of job and family enable people to see that there are areas of their life that don’t work very well. Perhaps they have difficulty coping with their own strong emotions or the emotions of others; it might be that they feel that their behaviour exposes them or others they care about to some risks. Or, it might be that they feel that certain things have gone on long enough and they need to make a change. All of these things are enough for many people to begin a process of psychotherapy to sort things out.
When we let go
When things go unattended, the troublesome behaviour and thus the risks can tend to mount. Things get worse. For some people there can be an underlying belief that the bad things that are happening to them are, to some extent, deserved or are only happening to an insignificant person. When they get worse, this can only seem a confirmation that they were right in the first place. This provides no motivation to make changes. For people who feel like this, an essential motivation to make changes may have to be a realisation that someone close to them – a partner, a parent, a child – is being affected as well. In other words, change only seems to make sense when it helps someone else.
People come to psychotherapy with all sorts of backgrounds. Some come because they see a problem in themselves and would like to fix it. Others, however, sometimes need to really see the effect that their behaviour has on someone they care for before they can see that it’s time for a change.
– Tim Hill
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.