How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Hold that thought. We will get to the answer shortly in this column, which addresses how difficult it is to make a change, despite our best intentions. Consider how many people engage in self-defeating patterns of behavior despite negative consequences:
Smoking, obesity and problem drinking can lead to chronic illness and premature death. Nevertheless, recent large-scale surveys of adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that more than 20 percent of American adults continue to smoke, more than 30 percent are significantly overweight and approximately 15 percent are binge drinkers.