Psychotherapy has as at its roots a basic premise that one's personality, behaviors, and character traits are malleable, rather than fixed. Certainly, treatment of eating disorders champions the notion that behavior can be changed, that new habits and patterns can be formed.
Turns out, we are on the right track. Recent research indicates that positive change in character traits and personality can occur even into old age, and that the biggest "growth spurt" in this regard takes place not in childhood, but between thea ages of 18 and 40.
Studies show that people can make significant gains in assertiveness, emotional stability, and conscientiousness in middle age. There is an openness to new ideas and experiences that comes with aging as well. Apparently, according to research, we also become easier to get along with in middle age; this according to University of Illinois researcher Brent W. Roberts and Purdue University researcher Daniel Mroczek.
In addition, the researchers named above found, in a review of studies, that psychotherapy can help this process of change.
So here's to resiliency! Here's to the hope that comes with change.