Nature versus Nurture
the great debate continues...
Have you ever heard people say something like "Oh, my Dad was a miserable sod and he says his parents were even worse. It obviously runs in my family. It's in my genes. I can't change. I'm doomed"?
There is a debate over how much of our psychological disposition and behaviour is genetically inherited versus learnt by life experiences. This question is generally summarised as "Nature Versus Nurture" and it's been debated for more years than you would believe.
You should come to your own conclusion but, in the interests of transparency, I should be clear that my view (and the therapy I offer) is heavily bias in favour of "Nurture", i.e. we are greatly influenced psychologically and behaviorally by our life experiences. This is discussed in further detail in the 'Stages of life' page of this website (click the button at the bottom of this page).
Whilst the role of your DNA has to be acknowledged, fascinating developments in the evolving field of epigenetics is showing that aspects of our genetics can be modified by environmental factors - i.e. your genes aren't "fixed" as previously believed. Some scientists such as Dr Bruce Lipton argue that a persons belief system and consciousness are included in the list of environmental factors that can alter your genetics. Of course, other scientists have different views but such is the nature of science. It will be interesting to see if this influences or even resolves the 'nature vs nurture' debate in the future.