People can change.
Change is a constant. People grow, develop new skills and understandings, and improve on existing abilities. People also deteriorate. People who avoid working on themselves, will begin to lose skills and abilities. In much the same way that a muscle, unused, will waste away, so do people when they are not challenged.
I have noticed that people experience the greatest growth during times of highest stress. Curiously, when life is easy, people are more likely to change in unhealthy ways.
The belief that people constantly change, alternating between growth and deterioration, is called a “dynamic” view of humanity. The opposite view is of “static” existence. Many people hold to this belief – thinking that once a person matures into an adult, that person will always remain the same way.
Change is caused by many stressors – education, work, promotion, relationships, crises, disasters, misfortunes, disappointments, physical challenges and illness, substance abuse, addictions, and so on.
Change is often unwanted. Positive change, or growth, may be desired, but avoided because of the amount of work required. I often challenge my clients, who are trying to survive some disaster in their life, to use this opportunity to intentionally develop their life in some desired way. After all, they are already experiencing the pain of change, why not add in the joy of achievement?
People do change. But, without a plan for change, and an ideal for a goal, the change may be for the worse. Counseling is about change. Counselors are change agents. We facilitate life change for our clients.
People who fully use the opportunities available through counseling can find themselves living a radically different life – a life of their choice.