NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : personality-disorder

Can people change or is personality set?

personality change possible
A recent study found  that personality can change more than we once thought.  It was believed that  once personality  develops it is generally set and only able to change slightly over a significant period of time. A new study finds, that with therapy or counseling, with a professional,  personality  is able to change more rapidly and  significantly  than we once believed.

This study looked at over 200 published research papers. These papers all assessed personality traits as an outcome  of different kinds  of therapy or counseling. This review was published  in the Journal  psychological bulletin on January 5  and offers powerful suggestions that personality is not a static  as we once  expected.

This research does not  mean that we are rapidly able to change personality characteristics. In fact who we are does not tend to change in therapy  but we are able to influence  our reactions and awareness  to our own thoughts and feelings as well as input from others. When working with couples, Dr. Davenport has frequently seen a spouse wanting to change the other  tomorrow or in coming weeks. Unfortunately,  this is not likely realistic. However, focusing on  one aspect of who we are  and looking at it for many facets does have  opportunity change over time which this research supports. With many human behaviors slow and steady change is more easily  maintained than those shifts that come  rapidly.

There is evidence that people can change later in life  which suggests that enduring personality traits  may be able  to be changed deliberately.  This is in contrast  to previous research  on “big five” personality traits neuroticism, agreeableness, extroversion, and contentiousness which were indicated to be predictive of life success. Although these characteristics are likely adaptive  they may not illustrate  the entire picture. There is some research that indicates  an increase in emotional stability and  contentiousness during young adulthood and midlife.  In addition, openness to new experience tends to increase  during teenage years declining in old age.  This suggests that although some characteristics  may tend to pervade throughout life  there is also a continual shift  as we become more open  to new experience and potential change.

In summary, a new study supports that we’re able to make significant change  in aspects  of our personality  with continued therapy or counseling  with a trained professional.  Please contact  Charles R Davenport PsyD LLC  if you would like  to discuss the counseling or therapy services  this practice can offer you  or a loved one.

Narcissim: Am I a Narcissist?

A recent press release by the American Psychological Association (APA) discusses an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Narcissism and the Use of Personal Pronouns Revisited.

Common belief is that words such as “I” and “me” being overused is evidence of  narcissism. however, empirical research for this belief is at best sparse and at least inconsistent.

Generally narcissists are described his people  who have an unrealistically positive sense of their own goodness, superiority, and self-importance. Most people who are narcissists are not reading this article wondering if you may relate to them, as the nature of narcissists predispose them to be certain there is nothing wrong with anything related to them.

This most recent study found no association between pronoun use and narcissism. There are some limitations in the study given the relatively small sample size from the United States and Germany. Other limitations include the assessment tool used to detect narcissism. These limitations aside, it is probably safe to say that the use of personal pronouns does not mean someone is narcissistic.

Many times characteristics of narcissism stem from misguided attempts to protect ourselves from vulnerability that we may not be good enough in our own eyes or in the eyes of others. This set of defenses leaves the person certain that there are wonderful at times wondering why things are not more how they would like them in their lives. Frequently, it is in these situations folks may begin seeking treatment. In fact, there may be gradations of narcissism. those who are completely entrenched in their insistence that they are right frequently do not seek out counseling or therapy in less things are in particular crisis. It is also frequently the case once the acute crises resolved these individuals discontinue therapy and resume their certainty of their excellence. Sometimes living with her growing up with a narcissist results in individual realizing that the best way for them to be unscathed is to mirror the narcissistic values. When this happens these individuals may look like narcissists but they’re much more curious about themselves and their lives and tend to benefit significantly from individual therapy and counseling. Dr. Davenport does much work with these kinds of folks frequently looking at how they can live happier more fulfilling lives without having to rely exclusively on outdated and frequently misguided self protection techniques.

It is likely we all have aspects of narcissistic defense. Dr. Davenport recommends that we consider counseling or therapy if any of these characteristics interfere with someone’s life being how they would like it to be.

 

 

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