Growth vs. Change - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
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Growth vs. Change

for Parents & Educators > Handouts > Change Growth Handouts

Growth Vs. Change- Occurrence Vs. _____,
Quantitative Change leads to Qualitative Change

Often when looking for change in the behavior of children, partners, or family… or for change within oneself, there is a focus on if something still occurs or not.  From a strict perspective, if “it” is still occurring, the occurrence in itself is seen as proof of the lack of change, and individuals can often feel frustrated or even defeated.  This strict perspective can obscure significant growth… or gradual change that actually leads to eventual fulfillment and better relationships and lives. For example, arguments are STILL happening- still occurring.  From the occurrence orientation, there is frustration.  However, there can be great growth if, there is

a reduction in FREQUENCY of the arguments;

a reduction in negative INTENSITY of the arguments;

a reduction in DURATION of the arguments;

a reduction in the DAMAGE (or a gain in BENEFIT) from the arguments;

a reduction in the NEGATIVE RESONANCE  (or an increase of POSITIVE RESONANCE- good energy or feelings) affecting the rest of life and functioning from the arguments.

Based on changes in FREQUENCY, INTENSITY, DURATION, DAMAGE/BENEFIT, and RESONANCE, arguments (or other negative behavior) can still be occurring, but there is actually significant growth.  If arguments used to occur daily and have reduced in FREQUENCY first to every couple of days, then to monthly and then to every few months; were formerly highly painful and but have reduced in INTENSITY over time to less and less painful; used to last for weeks in DURATION, but have reduced to a day, then hours, then minutes; used to cause tremendous emotional DAMAGE and now causes lesser and lesser hurt; and RESONANCE as the experience affects other parts of life and functioning.  But “it” is still happening!  However, life and relationship is much better for these people.  

Elimination of long established negative behaviors can be very difficult and especially unrealistic in short time frames.  Using FREQUENCY, INTENSITY, DURATION, DAMAGE/BENEFIT, and RESONANCE as the criteria for growth, rather than elimination of occurrence is more realistic and offers a sense of progression.  Quantitative change thus leads to qualitative change.
3056 Castro Valley Blvd., #82
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT32136
office: (510) 582-5788
fax: (510) 889-6553
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