John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD


Is Therapy Always about Change?

When people think about therapy, often they think it’s synonymous with the idea change. But this is only half of the equation.

Therapy is also about self-acceptance. Sometimes when you relax your defenses and openly explore your own mind, you’ll discover who you really are, what you really want, or who you really want to be.

Or maybe therapy will bring you into direct contact with your flaws, your limitations, and your past mistakes. We fix what we can, but often as not we must learn to have compassion for ourselves. We make peace the idea of being imperfect. Indeed, in many cases, we embrace it.

We change behaviors, habits, patterns –- especially when they hurt us. But we accept wants, wishes, needs, dreams, and temperaments.

Therapy is a balancing act. We chance what we can, we accept what we can’t. This sounds remarkably similar to the Serenity Prayer, does it not?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Or, if you prefer, a Moose Goose rhyme...

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

Therapy is never just about change. It’s also about getting to know who you really are, imperfections and all.