In psychology, incongruence refers to a discrepancy or disconnect between an individual’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and self-concept. This can result in a sense of inner conflict, tension, or discomfort.
For example, an individual may have strong beliefs about being honest, but feel tempted to lie in a given situation. This creates a sense of incongruence, as the person’s behaviour (lying) is not aligned with their beliefs and values.
In humanistic psychology, incongruence is considered a hallmark of personal growth and development, as it often leads to an individual examining their thoughts and behaviours, and making changes to bring them more in line with their values and sense of self. Incongruence can also contribute to mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, when it becomes chronic or intense.
Treating incongruence often involves exploring the root causes of the conflict and helping the individual find ways to reconcile their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, either through self-reflection, therapy, or other forms of support.
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