The Effect of Therapy
anonymous Asks ...
I am not like other people. I don’t like anybody. I can fake it when it is my best interest to do so and nobody ever knows how much I despise them as I pretend like we’re best buds. It’s pretty comical actually. But most of the time I find it humorous to just tell people what I think of them especially people I am never going to see again. These morons never have a frigging clue how to respond when I just basically point out the truth of their pathetic existence. My family wants me to get ‘help’. What a joke. I want to know is therapy going to make me start to love and want to cuddle everybody all of a sudden or is it just going to make me better at faking it?
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.