Petronella Phillips Devaney
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Change and transformation

October 28, 2014   

Change is a popular theme in terms of  self development or self-improvement.  Actually, change is happening to each of us all the time, without any deliberate intent, as we respond to what’s going on around us in our lives.  In therapy, the client is helped to become more consciously aware of these changes, mostly tiny shifts, occasionally something more obviously noticeable resulting from a particular life event or crisis.

But all the time, each and everyday, little changes, little growth spurts or regressions, happen quite naturally but unseen.  So exactly how useful is the active striving for change,  or change being the object of therapy, or a personal goal?

Anyone who’s ever been involved in organisational change management knows that a smooth transition is one of the most difficult things to pull off, maybe impossible.  And that’s because, desirable though it may be in theory, we are all more or less resistant to change when face to face with it.

Jung said there was good reason and justification for this resistance, and it should never under any circumstance be ridden over rough shod, or otherwise argued out of existence.  Neither should it be belittled or disparaged.

On the contrary, resistance should be taken with the greatest seriousness as a vitally important defense.  When there are strong resistances, the conscious attitude of the client must be carefully watched and supported.  This support is therapeutically valuable, and it is often enough to bring about satisfactory results.

To summarise:  change may be the goal, but it is always a challenge.  Sensitive and positive support of those affected by it can help them steer a steady course through the transformational process, and achieve the desired aim.  Managers and  business team leaders take note!