Failures in correction of temperament and character flaws
Complaints about failures in the correction of temperament properties and human traits are found in the practice of psychological counseling quite often. This is due to the following circumstances. First, these shortcomings represent what exists in a person's psychology for a long time, arises and is fixed relatively early and, therefore, hardly can be corrected. Secondly, these shortcomings are best understood by people, since they represent what is greatly hampered in life. Third, there are many such shortcomings in a person. Having got rid of some of them, he can save others, and consequently, he will not be able to get rid of the shortcomings to the end. Fourthly, almost all the properties of human temperament are practically impossible to correct, even at the level of their purely external, behavioral manifestations, not to mention the involuntary internal reactions associated with them.
As for character traits, although they depend little on a person's genotype, they also take shape quite early and become so persistent in childhood that they can not be completely changed, especially in adults,
How should a counselor psychologist act if a client appealing to him complains that he repeatedly made attempts to somehow influence his temperament or something to change in his character, but all these attempts were unsuccessful?>
First of all, it is necessary to clarify what exactly the client is referring to for help to a psychologist, what drawbacks in temperament and character are referred to. It often turns out that what the client himself is saying is not entirely true. This happens, firstly, because in life and in scientific literature, the notion of "temperament" is often confused. and character rights. Secondly, it is also necessary to clarify the essence of the problem that has arisen because the scientific and everyday definitions of the temperament and character traits of a person usually do not quite coincide. What is called temperament, can refer to the character of a person, and vice versa.
Thirdly, in the absence of the above two typical mistakes, the client can still be seriously mistaken in understanding his own problem. People for the most part are not able to really realize many of the properties of their temperament and character traits.
After clarifying the client's problem, the counselor should comprehend why previous attempts by the client himself to correct his temperament and character ended in failure. There may be several reasons for this, and we will briefly discuss them later. However, for this, you first need to clarify the situation, in which the client turned out, asking him the following, for example, questions.
Which of the characteristics of your temperament and character you yourself have already tried to change and why?
When did you first attempt this type of attempt and for how long did you try to solve your problem yourself?
What were your attempts to change your temperament? How did you try to do this?
How did you try to change your character?
By what criteria did you judge that your temperament and character do change or remain the same?
What, in your opinion, did you manage to change in yourself?
What do you think, why did you fail?
Analysis of the client's answers to all these questions will allow the counselor psychologist to clarify the client's problem, to direct the consultation process to its optimal solution. In addition, such an analysis will enable the client to avoid those mistakes that he made, trying to change his temperament or character on his own.
What are the possible and at the same time typical reasons for such failures? Often - this is one of the reasons - the client mistakenly assesses some of the properties of his temperament and some character traits as negative and tries to get rid of them. Among such properties and features are often those that are difficult to change for the reasons indicated above. The task of the counseling psychologist in this case is to convincingly explain this circumstance to the client, to induce him to abandon the continuation of further unproductive attempts to change the corresponding properties of temperament and traits of his character. If, nevertheless, it turns out that in the course of his life these temperament and character features really bring a lot of trouble to the client, it will be necessary to convince the client that it is desirable not so much to try to change one's temperament or temperament, how much to try to accept it as it is, those. just to adapt to it, to find rational ways of behavior, corresponding to the existing character traits and temperament properties.
The second possible reason for failure is the client's maximalism, which is expressed in the fact that the client is not satisfied with the moderate positive changes that in time actually occur in his temperament or character, as he strives to become an almost perfect or ideal person. It's backward that it's almost impossible to do.
The task of the consultant in this case is reduced to sufficient reasoning to prove to the client that this is not only unrealistic, but also undesirable. The fact that a person in his childhood has already been acquired and became his temperament or character remains with him for life, virtually unchanged. It is undesirable to break and artificially change for the reason that with temperament properties, from which a person wants to get rid, in his personal life experience, usually not only bad, but also good is associated. Any property of temperament and almost every feature of a person brings to him some benefit in life, and the complete elimination of them completely unexpectedly can result in very unpleasant consequences.
If, for example), adults, parents, faced with the stubbornness of a child, with his disobedience, begin to systematically punish him and exert psychological pressure on him, then ultimately they can certainly get obedience from their child. But at the same time he himself can become a weak-willed person, which subsequently leads to many failures in his life.
The third reason for failures in the correction of temperament and the character of a person is the lack of awareness by the client himself of those positive changes that can really occur in his character and temperament. The fact is that changes in the character and temperament of a person are actually very slow and, as a rule, imperceptible to the person himself. This happens for approximately the same reasons that a person does not notice, for example, the movement of the clockwise on the dial of the clock: it exists, as we know, but more slowly than the sensory organs perceiving movements.
In the latter case, failure in the correction of temperament and character is due to mere ignorance, the inability of a person to really assess the changes taking place in him. In this case, the main task of the counselor psychologist is to show, prove to the client that his attempts to somehow influence his character and temperament are in fact not unsuccessful. You can do this in one of three ways.
• Ask the client to contact someone close to him who often communicates with him and ask that person to say if anything has changed in the psychology and behavior of the client during the time when he actively tried to change himself. Such a conversation with a loved one should be thorough. It is advisable that the counselor himself prompts the client how to organize and conduct it better, what questions should be asked to a close person to make sure that his own attempts to influence the temperament or character can be considered successful.
• Carry out thorough testing of those manifestations of temperament and character, the impossibility of changing which the client complains about. It is especially important to draw the client's attention to those signs that indicate changes in the temperament properties and in character traits that the client himself would like to get rid of.
• After completing the corrective work, it is also necessary to conduct a final psychological testing and compare its results with the results of the initial testing. By such a comparison, it will be practically possible to prove to the client that in his psychology and behavior there are indeed significant positive changes, although he himself does not fully realize them.
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