Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

The extent to which a person's ideals of themselves and their actual traits agree. A large discrepancy between the two can lead to psychological pain. It is that pain, in theory, that can lead an individual to seek treatment. It can be measured. The client sorts card describing their ideal selves and those describing the real self.

REAL-IDEAL SELF CONGRUENCE: "The real-ideal congruence can be large enough to spur an individual to seek treatment."

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