I want to put my response to the question of “How can it help to cure the problem just by understanding it?” in a separate post because many people don’t even know that it’s possible.
My friend, you are right, it is like magic. I have no idea why the magic happens but it does.
Imagine a person who has an addiction. It’s a serious addiction, it’s been going on for years, and it’s getting worse. And then the person goes into psychoanalysis, talks, figures it out and. . . He’s cured. Addiction is gone.
Imagine a person with 3 addictions, 5 self-destructive behaviors, and all central bodily functions compromised (eating disorders, sleep disorders, etc.) And then all of a sudden, it all begins to fall away and she can lead a normal life. No addictions, no self-destructive behaviors.
That’s how it works. And I wouldn’t have believed it had I not experienced it myself. I have no idea why understanding the problem has such potency but it does.
Of course, it all begins with a person wanting to get better. And as you say, if they don’t, that’s all there is to it.
Mind you, though, you can’t do it on your own. It takes professional help. It’s like dentistry. Tooth hurts like a sad m-fucker, you go to a dentist, she does something, tooth doesn’t hurt.