Whether or not people can truly make significant changes in their behavior is a puzzle for most people. Wanting to change usually stems from the desire for people to behave in a better way for multiple reasons: to keep a job, create and maintain harmonious relationships, and manage conflict better. People also wonder if people can truly change when encountering someone with complex and challenging behaviors.
However, people can change. After all, that’s what psychotherapists are trained to do! Our practice revolves around helping people confront their struggles and stresses that cause them to act a certain way and positively transform them. It allows them to take on healthier approaches to conflict and create long-lasting changes in their lives.
How Do Harmful Behaviors Happen?
Problematic or stressful behaviors often result from childhood or developmental trauma. Your life’s early years are incredibly crucial to your growth and maturity, as they often form your responses to almost everything: stress, excitement, anger, and even contentment.
As you grow up, you gradually develop what is called a primary model. This is made up of how you interpret everything you experience: birds flying outside your window, falling off your bike, or receiving a reward. Your perception of these things, the resulting emotions from these experiences, and psychological trauma start to build until they become set behaviors.
Traumatic experiences don’t have to be violent: always witnessing the more favorable treatment of your sibling by your parents can contribute to persistent low self-esteem that affects you even as an adult. On the other hand, it can also cause you to be overly critical of your loved ones, which can strain your relationships.
These experiences, your primary model, often shape your perception of many things. Your primary model is how you understand the world you experience as you mature into a full-fledged adult. Psychotherapists use these experiences and the amount of developmental trauma you’ve gone through to help you analyze your behaviors. With these insights, you’ll see opportunities to make persistent changes.
How Is It Possible for People to Change?
Although change is possible, it might not be easy. This is especially true for behaviors that have persisted for a long time, which has led people to believe that change is impossible because they’re so set in their ways. It’s important to know that change can only happen if they want to and recognize its benefits no matter how deeply ingrained the habit.
While the desire for change can be strong, figuring out where to start can be challenging. Fortunately, psychotherapy helps with that. Under this treatment, psychotherapists observe patterns in your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. We use these patterns to understand how they came to be, why they’re affecting the way you perceive things, and how it’s affecting your life. Using the insights you give us, like the way you respond to conflict or how your parents raised you, we can equip you with the belief that you can change and offer concrete ways to do so.
How Can People Change for Good?
Constantly grappling with your behaviors and being aware of their effects can help you change for good. Doing this by yourself is incredibly difficult, so this is where psychotherapy comes in. Psychotherapists provide a safe environment for you to help you understand yourself without fear of judgment. This will help you make better progress in creating the life you want.
Although psychotherapy is an effective treatment, one session won’t cure your problems. Unlearning and undoing unhealthy habits is a challenging process involving a lot of internal work, which can take several months. Psychotherapists are equipped with the skills and techniques to help you make permanent, positive changes in yourself, but that’s only possible with regular sessions.
While people can change, the process can be stressful and difficult. Dealing with childhood trauma may evoke unwanted memories and feelings, which is why this must be done with a psychotherapist, as we are professionally trained to handle these situations with care and delicacy by understanding why we want to change. The experiences behind the behavior in question, psychotherapists can help you become your best self.
If you need affordable therapy in Brooklyn, let us know at Therapy24x7. We offer psychotherapy and life-coaching services both in-office and online. We provide support and results-based therapy for stress management, clinical depression, chronic anxiety, and grief. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.