Psychological Self-Help

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1406
STEP THREE: Decide which aspects, if any, of the new ways of
behaving are worth keeping. What have you learned about
yourself and others?
Kelly's clients frequently after a week or so forgot that they were
playing roles. They began to feel natural. With some modifications,
they accepted the new behavior as a permanent part of them. The new
adopted behavior reflects a new way of looking at things, new personal
constructs. Personality change results from changing one's constructs
which results from changing one's behavior. This is the purpose of this
method. 
Set aside time to review the results of your two weeks of role
playing. Compare the new approach with the old way and then decide
what to do in the future. You may want to go back to your old ways, or
adopt some of the new ways, or try out another way of behaving. 
Time involved
Probably two to three hours are needed to draft a new role
description and to discuss it with friends. During the two week trial
period you may not be using any more time than you ordinarily would,
you are just doing things differently. There is some time involved in
keeping a diary and deciding if you want to make any changes after
the experiment. 
Common problems
The biggest problem is overcoming your resistance to making such
radical changes in your life style. In therapy, the therapist can use
his/her prestige to persuade the client to try a new role. In self help,
however, many people would resist drastic changes, it is scary. 
Effectiveness, advantages and dangers
The technique, as used by Kelly with several hundred clients, was
judged clinically to be effective. It was not studied scientifically. The
advantage of this method is that one gets powerful, new experience
immediately. There is no gradual shaping of a new way of behaving,
no lengthy training programs. You instantly start behaving differently
and seeing what happens. This shapes your personal constructs, your
understanding of your real life situations, and it helps you select a
better life style. There are no known dangers except that you may
confuse relatives and friends, which could cause them to wonder about
your stability. 
Recommended reading
Kelly (1963) and Thorn and Pishkin (1974). 
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