So much of the focus in the field of clinical psychology goes to addressing finite, non-integrated concerns, often owing to little more than the relative ease of measuring an easily observable result. Shortly later, that same concern reemerges in a slightly different form, and the process is repeated, perhaps with an even slightly more refined intervention. What is missing in the lion’s share of clinical advances is the ability to more systemically effect change.
People’s challenges, from relationships to self-reflections, from aspiration to retreat, from pursuits to defenses, simply don’t operate in isolation. They are not just the singular product of bad circumstances or psychological reactivity. Instead, the processes that create challenges in living and meaning in life arise from each individual’s intricate set of perception, behavior, unconscious realm, and physical makeup which, when considered together, forms a comprehensive system of interfacing with the world. In essence, this system which we call a personality is the psychological immune system, and strengthening it to more effectively and efficiently meet the person’s demands leads to true, sustainable resilience.
Understanding personality through an empirically-substantiated theory allows the thoughtful clinician to consider, measure, and intervene using the whole of the person, rather than a perspective emphasizing one or another part of functionality.