The term personal growth is a phrase that is often bandied around and usually associated with life coaching or goal focussed achievement. Whilst coaching and goal focussed achievement are excellent psychological objectives that is not what is meant in this context. Individuals who enter into psychotherapy often do so because they feel that “something” is missing from their life or that they are “doing something wrong” but cannot clearly identify what it is. Perhaps the individual has had a succession of failed relationships or a marriage breakdown and needs to identify why “things went wrong” with an intention to avoid the same mistakes. Psychotherapy enables the individual to examine in detail their history and the attitudes that they have– they are then able to be more aware of how they reach decisions and why they do things in a particular way. Forexample, a person may experience relationship endings on a regular basis and not understand why. Psychotherapy can assist in the examination of those relationships and identify common factors. The client will also be able to ascertain what their part in the process was and how they can alter their position in the future if they so wish. Personal development and growth are probably the most beneficial reasons to enter into long term psychotherapy but are often ignored.
“the unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)
Whilst a life is always worth living, examination of it will almost always enhance the experience of life. Imagine only ever reading synopsis’s of books and never reading the entire novel – when the entire novel is actually read the experience surpasses all the synopsis’s of other books read.