What Is Personality Change?

We’ve all wished we could be someone else, whether it’s just polishing a few dull spots in our personality or fully rewriting the story of our lives, Jay Gatsby-style. If you're a procrastinator, you may have wished you could be more productive; if you're gloomy, you may have hoped you could be more optimistic; if you're shy, you may have longed to be the life of the party. Changing your core personality traits (e.g., introversion) is difficult. But what you can change is your behavior. It's never too late to do what you want to do, and with a little sweat and a little luck, you can break out of old patterns and be just who you want to be.

Recent Posts on Personality Change

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

Recovering From Seasonal Shifts in Mood in Bipolar Disorder

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on March 26, 2015 in Take Control
For people who have bipolar disorder, seasonal changes in mood can disrupt your health and well being. You can learn to recognize and address these seasonal shifts before they cause harm. We examine the effects of these shifts on motivation, thinking and identity. Early recognition can help you gain better control of bipolar spectrum disorder.

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Health

Addicts and those with co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD are frequently overwhelmed by shame. This is not just an internal issue of being ashamed of past behaviors.

How to Free Yourself From Regret, for Good

Many people feel regrets about past decisions and paths they took in their live, and they often feel trapped by the long-term consequences. But there's a different way of understanding the regrets, by learning how you have been changed by them in ways you might not realize.

Brain Trauma Can Cause Compulsive Sexual Desires

Brain trauma more often causes a decrease in libido. However, sometimes it causes an increase in libido, as in the case of Alissa, a 23-year-old who suffered a car accident, and Heather, a 43-year-old who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Falling Down a Mountain May Make You a Genius

On Friday, September 13, 2002, Jason Padgett was attacked by two men as he was leaving a karaoke bar. He was struck twice on the back of the head and lost consciousness for a few moments. Afterwards he developed remarkable abilities. Jason's story is unique. But there are other less known cases of people who develop extraordinar abilities following brain injury or disease.

The Book That Changed My Life

By Sheila Kohler on March 09, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
I first encountered Proust’s work in what might be considered rather adverse yet somewhat Proustian circumstances. He was a favorite writer of my ex-husband and his southern mother who had discovered Proust on her own in the library in Kentucky where she had taken out Scott Montcrieff’s translation of Remembrance of Things past, and read it by chance.

Meaning is Where the Action Is

Whether a therapist’s expression of emotional understanding will produce therapeutic or counter-therapeutic effects will depend on the emotional meanings that such expressions have for the patient.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

7 Ways Your Relationship Can Change Who You Are

Who you are is less stable than you think, especially when it comes to the influence of romantic partners.

The Flash and the Nonexistent Standard DID Med Mix

The CW's television series "The Flash" has featured a recurring character called Firestorm the "Nuclear Man" who is two different people merged together into one body. To treat the chaos in this mix of men, scientists give him a mix of medications that is supposedly standard treatment for dissociative identity disorder. No such standard exists.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Make Time for the Pain

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 06, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
When someone comes into therapy essentially requesting a major mental and emotional overhaul, I typically warn them that we’ll be doing a lot of grief work. That is, if we’re to accomplish a major transformation of their self-image, they’ll need to revisit many of the times and places where their painfully felt insecurities and self-doubts originated.

I May Be Past My Peak But I’m Not Over the Hill

By David F. Swink on February 04, 2015 in Threat Management
There are many benefits and risks of extreme sports. When are you too old to do them?

Shame and Motivation to Change

By Lisa Rivero M.A. on January 29, 2015 in Creative Synthesis
We know the feeling only too well: Our pulse quickens. Our faces flush. The feeling is so bad that we want to escape at all costs. But is shame always bad?

Killing the Cartoon

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on January 26, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
It’s useful to see terrorists not as freaks but as emergency versions of everybody’s effort to substantiate an identity and get real. The terrorists in Paris shared many characteristics of rampage killers in the US, but they also have much to tell us about the self under stress, including our own.

Psychotherapy Is the Real Deal

As opposed to the fraudulent ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of ‘somatic’ psychiatry, psychotherapy not only effectively treats us, but it is consonant with the way psychiatric symptoms actually develop in the first place. The sad thing is we already have everything we need –the lost art and science of psychotherapy.

4 Tips to (Really) Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on January 06, 2015 in Food Junkie
Do your New Year's resolutions sound familiar? Like maybe from last year...or the year before? Read on to learn about a handful of common psychological pitfalls that might be sabotaging our efforts and leaving us with the same goals each year.

Envy-Empathy: Gifts Within Human Neurocircuitry

Malignant envy is wild desire, what in Eastern perspectives is believed to be responsible for suffering. When envy is modulated and matured, it empowers life positive impulses facilitating knowing, emulation, learning, admiration, feelings of gratitude, and empathy, that is, understanding, respect, and compassion for self and others.

4 Ways Our Relationships Change Who We Are

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on December 16, 2014 in Close Encounters
When we are involved in serious romantic relationships, we find ourselves turning from a “me” to an “us”. That means that as we become increasingly committed to our partners, we find our self-concept actually changing. The “us” becomes “me”. But how does our self-concept change, and are these changes good or bad for us and for our relationships?

Are You a Narcissist? InfoGraphic

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on November 28, 2014 in Compassion Matters
Does it seem like inflated self-esteem is getting a little out of control these days? Here is a chart to help you better recognize narcissism. But noticing narcissistic traits around us may be the easy part. The hard part is understanding why these traits show up and what to do about them.

Living Between Three and Seven

This simple numerical scale helps put feelings in perspective, and illustrates how cognitive and dynamic approaches can complement one another in therapy.

Does Your Boss Suffer From Hubris Syndrome?

By Stephen Joseph Ph.D. on November 01, 2014 in What Doesn't Kill Us
We need to be able to help leaders in organizations stay grounded, realisitc and avoid the trap of hubris.

ENVY: Bane of Existence or Gift of Nature?

The possibility of the healthy maturation of envy, a novel construct in envy theory, affords those dedicated to resolute self-change the possibility of its healthy transformation. This is a potential gift. The experience of “raw envy,” in this way, morphs into more conscious and complex attitudes that include health-promoting admiration and emulation.

Retraining Our Brain’s Software in the Digital Age

From the beginning of a career spanning more than 40 years, Dave Sabey has sought out people with a fresh perspective, an inspired vision and a relentless sense of purpose. We spoke with Dave about technology, training your subconscious and snapping yourself out of bad moods when they strike.

Do This One Thing and Stop Procrastinating

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on October 16, 2014 in Science and Sensibility
If procrastination negatively affects your performances, are you doomed to stay stuck in this rut? Not if you don’t want to stay stuck!

Do Souls Exist?

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on October 06, 2014 in A Logical Take
In my article "Do Souls Exist," I explain why most philosophers doubt the existence of the soul. Here I field some of the most common questions regarding their doubts by responding to questions posed to me by philosophy of religion students at Berkhamsted School in London.

Psychopath, Interrupted

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 24, 2014 in Shadow Boxing
An account from the 1940s purports to have cured a psychopath with an "accelerated" technique.

Internet Addiction-–Sign of a Medical Problem?

Needles in the haystack of Internet Addiction–two dramatic medical conditions that can drive Internet Addiction are discussed in this article.

Cults and the Mind-Body Connection

Soul murder, the term coined by Leonard Shengold to describe the intentional attempt to stamp out or compromise the separate identity of another person.That is what destructive cults do. I have met so many intelligent people who have been victims of cults. Having high intelligence is no protection from becoming victimized by a cult.,