Short-term therapy generally has three goals: modifying or removing the symptom complaint for which help is being sought, which is the immediate objective, producing some corrective influence on the individual’s general adjustment, and initiating essential alterations in the personality structure.
With the properly conducted treatment we may anticipate substantial or complete symptom relief as well as some modification for the better of behavioral coping.
However, we may scarcely have broken ground on the third goal of personality reconstruction. We may hope, nevertheless, that the experience of treatment will have set into motion a process following therapy that over a long-term period will result in true character permutations.
That such changes do occur has been demonstrated in follow-up studies of patients who have received appropriate professional help over a brief span.
Though not anticipated, significant and lasting changes in the self-image and the quality of interpersonal relationships have been noted