Transformation of Personality through Intimacy
Ken is a successful and ambitious executive in his 30s who became severely depressed when faced with the first major setback in his career. Although his setback had no apparent connection with his wife with whom he felt close, she became involved in the process of his internal transformation that deeply affected the way he thought, felt and acted in his work, his sense of self and his relationship with her.
Ken’s personality went through four distinct stages of structural transformation, as shown in the graph below. The first stage occurs through the process of breakthrough intimacy, or the experience of a much closer and intimate relationship with his spouse.
The vertical axis represents the daily self-rating scores by Ken on 41 parameters according to Lifetrack Total Adjustment Sheet of Positive Mental Health. Ken’s intimacy score (the red line) rose beyond its previous maximum level of 10 during the 1st month of therapy, reaching 50 (5 times higher than his previous maximum) in 5 months. That is according to his own self rating, he felt five times closer to his wife than at his previous best level ever. His self and achievement scores followed his intimacy during the 2nd and 3rd month catching up during the 4th month of therapy.
4 Stages of Personality Transformation
A Closer Look on How Intimacy Leads to Growth
Structural transformation (growth) of personality — the way we think, feel and act in the three key spheres of our lives (self, intimacy and achievement) — occurs typically in four stages when Lifetrack therapy is highly successful.
In acute distress, the self and achievement spheres are collapsed, and the intimacy sphere is relatively more preserved. In this condition of desperation, we are more accessible to help. Some highly independent-minded individuals may further withdraw into themselves instead of reaching out, complicating the process of recovery and growth.
If an appropriate partner is available, intimacy may dramatically increase, in part thanks to the collapse of the usually dominant self and achievement spheres. This is a painful stage in which considerable resistance against escalating closeness occurs, and stress symptoms often worsen. Sometimes, to make a breakthrough in the intimacy sphere, professional help is necessary to help individuals overcome formidable resistance. Too often, in a well-meaning attempt to reduce immediate distress, the rare opportunity for a breakthrough in the intimacy sphere and for meaningful growth in personality is lost.
Once the intimacy sphere reaches a sufficiently high level, far beyond the previous best level, the self and achievement spheres begin to recover because resistance — distressful stress symptoms — disappears. This is an exciting and happy stage in which the self and achievement spheres rapidly improve beyond their previous best levels as they catch up with the intimacy sphere that has already advanced far ahead and continues to improve.
The self, intimacy and achievement spheres balance at a much higher level than before and continue to advance together. This is the ideal state in which the individual has the optimal preparation to face future challenges in life.
Copyright © 2010 Lifetrack Corporation
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