Perhaps therapists see a biased sample. Perhaps there are people who recognize a need to change something important about the way they live and execute change in a timely manner. But I must admit that what stands out to me as a therapist as well as through informal (non-therapy) relationships is how hard most people find it to change any well-entrenched aspect of how they face the world or live in the world day to day, regardless of how desirable it might seem to let us say ‘upgrade’ how they go about living life. Read more
The issue of how therapy can help a person move away from excessive, self-harming use of a substance or activity cannot be discussed meaningfully without attention to the actual intention of the person entering therapy. To use learning a foreign language as an adult as a useful analogy, if the person being instructed does not actually want to learn the language and does not make a real effort to pay attention, concentrate, study, practice, etc., he/she is unlikely to benefit much from instruction. The degree to which the person genuinely opens to the subject matter and the instruction cannot realistically be overlooked (I draw upon my own foreign language instruction experience in high school and college, in which I engaged minimally, resentfully, and inattentively, with predictable results).