If you are new to counseling, you might be feeling a bit worried about how it will go and how you will feel. Nervousness about your personality and how you might act before and after therapy are common concerns to encounter.
To answer the initial question, it is a bit tricky to say whether or not your personality will change. In reality, the answer is both yes and no. In many ways, your personality will stay the same at its core, but certain ways in which you operate are definitely subject to change. When you are working with a therapist who cares for your needs and your overall well-being, like those with MyTherapist, you can find solace knowing you are being guided toward being even more yourself.
In this article, we will review a few common myths about counseling and give examples of how your personality might change after attending therapy.
Myths About Counseling
- Counseling is only necessary or useful for those who feel like they are experiencing depression or a diagnosed mental illness
- People who attend counseling have had a mental health episode
- You are making a lifetime commitment to therapy forever
- It will cost you a lot of money
- Your friends can supply the same type of support outside of therapy
- The counselor will not understand your situation
- The counselor will judge you
There are a lot of myths about counseling. Give yourself the opportunity to experience therapy before you submit to any of these myths and assumptions.
One way in which your personality might change is in terms of your relationships with others. When you attend therapy, you have a sounding board for how you interact with those around you and can actually understand why you react the way you do to certain people, situations, or circumstances.
When you have a better understanding of your relationship with others, your perception of them might change along with your perspective. In turn, your attitude toward those relationships can evolve. At their core, your friendships and romantic relationships might remain the same in many ways, but in some cases, you can start implementing healthier practices such as setting boundaries and changing your communication style for the better.
You might begin to learn about the ways in which you prefer to give and receive love. Once you understand more about yourself, you may notice how others prefer to give and receive love, and how that knowledge has an impact on how you conduct your relationships.
Likewise, once you begin to recognize who in your life is lifting you up and who is dragging you down, you can work with a counselor to set boundaries and find the words to do so.
Another way in which your personality might change is in terms of your relationship with yourself. When you work with a counselor on your self-perception, you might begin to notice your negative self-talk evaporating.
By actively working towards self-love, your personality might feel more grounded and centered. Being content with oneself and knowing how to find peace with oneself can certainly change your personality, for the better.
Perhaps before therapy, you had a tendency to self-deprecate during conversations with others or had trouble advocating for yourself due to low self-esteem. After implementing self-love practices such as words of affirmation, journaling, scheduled worry, and other methods of self-care, you might find yourself walking taller, speaking with more confidence, and feeling better about yourself overall. Naturally, this could change the way you present yourself to others and how you will see yourself when you are alone.
With proper guidance, your productivity might change as well. Although this might not feel like a personality definer, the way you operate does inform your personality in part. Therefore, small portions of your personality, such as your productivity, can change due to therapy.
For example, perhaps you get easily distracted quite naturally. Once you work with a counselor to help address the root of the distraction, you can begin to take steps to change it. Try to remember that this is a change you are actively working for. If you begin to look at other small changes to your personality as intentional evolutions, you might feel less intimidated by the concept of change overall.
Your Family Dynamic
Changing a family dynamic is probably the most difficult change to make. Because your family has known you for a long time, expecting them to see or treat you differently might feel like an impossible task.
While it can be difficult to truly change any family dynamic (given how many personalities are at play), you may be able to change the way you treat others. This will come in especially handy with a family dynamic.
When you expect a change to occur, you must also be prepared to make the change for yourself. With the help of a counselor, you can work on practicing patience, self-compassion, understanding, and listening skills. When your personality changes in these ways, you might begin to see your relationships change with those around you, even with your family and loved ones.