When working with persons who are struggling with any mental health or emotional issue, it is interesting to note how attached people become to the behaviours, beliefs and/or relationships that are the main cause of their difficulties and the reason for their appearance in the consulting room.
This is not surprising, in psychology, defensive behaviours such as addiction, depression, anxiety and related safety behaviours become so entrenched because at one time, for all intents and purposes, these behaviours worked to relieve some psychological pressure that was unmanageable to the person at the time.
I still find it challenging when a client shows resistance to any suggestion that they change something they are doing in order to work towards their stated therapeutic goal, whatever that goal might be. Often, even after going through workability (what have you done so far, how has it worked for you, what has it cost you?) I find that clients are still reluctant to alter damaging behaviours even at the cost of health, valued relationships, money, time, goals etc.
They cling to their behaviours like a child might cling to a parent, even when that parent may also be the cause of suffering and pain.
Attachments can form in the most unlikely circumstances, such is our desire for connection and love. We will often put up with a lot of discontent in order to maintain the most tenuous connection to those, or that which we are attached to.
So the anguish this conundrum causes people is palpable and sometimes heartbreaking to watch. But reality has a way of exerting itself in a variety of ways, and eventually the breakthrough realisation is as simple as knowing that, in the most fundamental way action needs to happen in order for change to occur. In other words, if you want something to change, you need to change something, no matter how small.