24 doctors weighed in:

Can psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalytical psychotherapy permanently change the personality of a person?

24 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry
11 doctors agree

In brief: Yes, hard to prove

It is certainly the aim of these psychotherapies to change fundamental personality traits (for the better of course).
Countless case reports attest to success in doing so. But strong scientific proof would require careful, repeated personality assessment for large numbers of patients over many years — "permanently" is a long time — something that is very hard and expensive to study.

In brief: Yes, hard to prove

It is certainly the aim of these psychotherapies to change fundamental personality traits (for the better of course).
Countless case reports attest to success in doing so. But strong scientific proof would require careful, repeated personality assessment for large numbers of patients over many years — "permanently" is a long time — something that is very hard and expensive to study.
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Dr. Steven Reidbord
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Dr. Jason Berman
Clinical Psychology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Some research

On this question of the effect of psychotherapy: http://ajp.
Psychiatryonline.Org/article.Aspx?Articleid=1688271 both cbt and psychodynamic therapy (and psychoanalysis) can help patients depending on the goals of the patient.

In brief: Some research

On this question of the effect of psychotherapy: http://ajp.
Psychiatryonline.Org/article.Aspx?Articleid=1688271 both cbt and psychodynamic therapy (and psychoanalysis) can help patients depending on the goals of the patient.
Dr. Jason Berman
Dr. Jason Berman
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Dr. Kevin Nasky
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Undesirable or problematic aspects of one's personality can be changed with many types of therapy, including psychodynamic, where--as intrapsychic conflicts and resulting defense mechanisms are uncovered--increased self awareness can improve relations with self (ie self esteem) and others.

In brief: Yes

Undesirable or problematic aspects of one's personality can be changed with many types of therapy, including psychodynamic, where--as intrapsychic conflicts and resulting defense mechanisms are uncovered--increased self awareness can improve relations with self (ie self esteem) and others.
Dr. Kevin Nasky
Dr. Kevin Nasky
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Dr. Mari Terzaghi
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Analytic therapy

Analytic dynamic therapy is directed to the resolution of inter psychic and intrapsychic conflict, such as between desires or wishes and fear. Personality is much broader and involving non conflictual elements.

In brief: Analytic therapy

Analytic dynamic therapy is directed to the resolution of inter psychic and intrapsychic conflict, such as between desires or wishes and fear. Personality is much broader and involving non conflictual elements.
Dr. Mari Terzaghi
Dr. Mari Terzaghi
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Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Impact

I am a psychoanalyst, and I believe psychoanalysis can have a major impact on a patient's personality and change it to a certain extent, but not to the point of totally transmogrifying them into someone unrecognizable by those near and dear to them. Effects of psychoanalysis are typically very long lasting and positive.

In brief: Impact

I am a psychoanalyst, and I believe psychoanalysis can have a major impact on a patient's personality and change it to a certain extent, but not to the point of totally transmogrifying them into someone unrecognizable by those near and dear to them. Effects of psychoanalysis are typically very long lasting and positive.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Dr. Andrew Berry
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: No, but...

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies understand the basic structure of the personality to be based on inherited factors and then shaped in childhood.
However, there are more or less adaptive and satisfying ways that personality can be expressed. These therapies aim at maximizing this kind of adaptation.

In brief: No, but...

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies understand the basic structure of the personality to be based on inherited factors and then shaped in childhood.
However, there are more or less adaptive and satisfying ways that personality can be expressed. These therapies aim at maximizing this kind of adaptation.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
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