Behavior Modification Case 1

This case involves a 40 year old male from India who was always seen by others as being weak and easy to push around and intimidate. Much of this came from having very dominant parents and learning not to make waves at home for fear of punishment or reprisal. It is uncertain if his parents had any personality disorders, however his siblings acted much the same as he did.

To understand this it is important to understand the difference between behavior modification and habit modification. Behavior modification is not the same as habit modification. Habit modification addresses bad habits that have a negative effect on a person’s life and replaces them with good habits. Examples can be procrastination, failure to keep appointments and other commitments, and blaming others for their own shortcomings.

Behavior modification addresses more of outward behavior and interactions with others. It is more about taking charge of your own life and standing up for your fair share in life, and also being able to admit when you are wrong and learn from your mistakes. There is some minor overlap but in general the overlap covers knowing right from wrong and the consequences of pushing things if you know you are wrong.

In this case he had learned to surrender himself to other people’s will. He was regularly the target of people who bully others looking for easy gains. This cost him a lot of his hard earned money as he did not want to get into conflicts.

When he first came to me it was about seeking help for stress he was having. He wanted to be able to handle the stress he seemed to be encountering every place he looked. However during the initial intake discovery session, it became clear his stress came from people seeing him as easy prey. So in this case stress was the effect of his meek and weak outward projection and that is what needed to be addressed as it was the cause.

So the best way to describe what he needed was simply to become more of an Alpha male if not a full Alpha male. By doing that the number of stress related issues would be greatly reduced or simply disappear.

He liked the idea but was not sure if others would get angry at him if he did. So I very simply explained examples of pack orders and said it was all about nature and we humans also respond to pack orders. It is the Alpha males that get to mate as that is natures way of insuring only the best genes are passed on to the next generation. I told him he was not weak or sick, he only thought he was. When he heard that he agreed he needed to change.

During therapy he felt wonderful and had no regrets about his new frame of mind. At the end of 6 weeks he felt on top of the world and that was supported by how differently people were treating him. Those that would regularly pick on him suddenly backed down the moment he challenged them, and he said it was the most wonderful feeling he ever had and it was about the first time in his life he was shown any respect. Stress was gone and he clearly saw his meek behavior was where it came from.