I've been thinking a lot recently about personal transformation and how that works as a Christian, because G-d is supposed to be transforming us constantly. "How specifically does that work?" I've been wondering.
Say a friend says to you, "I am struggling with [X] which I really want to change," what do you tell them? To have more faith? To understand it more? To see a psychologist? A spiritual director? A doctor? To read the Bible more? To have a stronger will? To be more conscious? To pray, and somehow G-d will make it better (but we're not quite sure how that works, or when it might, if at all)?
The psychoanalytic approach is based on the concept that insight produces change. I think that can be valid to a point (self-understanding is good) but that it's unnecessary for insight to precede change.
To that end, I've spent a good deal of time being trained in a specific way of communicating and understanding others: Neuro Linguistic Programming. Yes, it's a mouthful and I feel clever when I say it, but the reality is is that it's given me the tools to help people facilitate change within themselves, without needing to go the psychoanalytic route or the "just have more willpower" route.
Here is the introduction by Richard Bandler (one of the co-founders of NLP) to his latest book, "Get the life you want" (forgo the cheesy title, please!). I'd welcome comments on this, particularly as he's presenting an alternative here to the "insight produces change" paradigm.
I think this is a vitally important conversation for those of us who work with others to have, helping them to better understand themselves and make changes for the better. If we're using an approach which feels good and helps others unpack their realities in a way to better understand them, but doesn't lead to any change (let along generative change!), then we may want to be open to wonder about other approaches which are more helpful for the client.