Transformations are often portrayed as complete alterations of a victim to something different than what they once were. Not only would their looks change, their personality and mannerisms would be modified to fit the new creature they have become. Is this absolutely the only outcome of a TF for the end result? This essay will offer an option for the normal outlook of a human not being entirely lost when their body shifts.
Sure, the saying that someone looks as they feel would be fitting for most TFs. Werewolves would be the primary drive of reflecting this common trait. With becoming a humanoid wolf, the mindset struggles to make the victim a cruel beast eager to go on it's first hunt. The initial loss of stance when falling down to all fours would be traumatic enough to start the mindset that they are powerless to resist. In reality, it is hard to fully pinpoint if any shred of humanity would remain. This doesn't have to be the case.
What if the victim had a drive in order to resist the cruel and unusual things happening to them? They will not take the circumstances lightly and succumb to the changes. Instead, they would resist throughout the process. From shear force of will, resistance can form. Maybe not a complete reversal, but some features would remain such as eyes or body type. Having a companion, a friend, a lover, or just an onlooker rooting for the victim could have a positive effect for their mental state if unable to resist it alone. By holding onto the very concept of their humanity, the outcome could not be as bleak and have a different victim to show itself to the world.
To show the difference between an accepted fate of TFing in comparison to one that someone tries to resist, I present the following scenario: A tree transformation.
With a hiker being lost in the forest, airborne spores from a plane makes her transform to become one of the rare and preserved trees in a national park. With movement restricted, she can't bend her legs. Roots rip out of her boots and gloves, making her feet into a mess of wriggling roots and her arms long branches. At this point of helplessness, her consciousness fades, with her face flattening with the rest of her body to massive walls of bark. Chlorophyll replaces her blood, and the human nervous system ceases to exist, leaving another silent guardian for the plants.
This doesn't have to be something our victim has to take. As soon as her legs are starting to get stuck as she feels bark growing against her pant legs, she would hurry to be in an area full of rocks. Feeling roots poke out from under her boots, she would hold her stomach tightly, willing for herself to remain, reminding herself what she is, and recollecting her memories. Her boots snap apart, but they don't form to massive roots. Through her hair, leaves replace her hair, but it doesn't drag her head to match it. Her friends rush into the scene, finding her altered state, giving motivation to not lose herself. Instead of a tree, she is left a dryad.
More can be worked into this like how she would function as a person, and as a living witness that something screwy is happening in the forest. If she was changed to a tree, that's it. Nothing else can happen.
This is of course, only a suggestion to mix things up out of the norm. While succumbing to a TF has it's own driving moments, so can a resistance to them.