In my work with schools, parents and young people, I often hear people talking about the fact that they feel they have tried everything to engage parents, but the parents don't want to come along. Or I hear parents saying that they have tried everything to interest their child, but their child is not interested. I sometimes hear parents saying that they have tried to get their school interested in some training but the school have not been interested. And sometimes I hear people talking about themselves but feeling that all their apparent efforts were not paying off. So what is this issue of readiness to change?
Readiness for Change is something we always need to be thinking about when thinking about change with complex children, parents and professionals. Broadly speaking where readiness for change is concerned we can divide people (young people and adults) into three groups: those who are not interested (yet) and may seem very passive, those who are motivated if support is around but may do a lot of blaming of others, and those who are quite independent in their learning process and don't need much encouragement to get going and go further. In solution-focussed therapy these are referred to as visitors, complainants and customers
In relation to parenting, or to being a professional with complex children this breakdown might appear as follows: Have a read and ask yourself which best describes you
If you look at the above descriptions, it is clear that it is MUCH easier to help and work with Customers for change. It is much more difficult and often not that rewarding to work with people who are only Visitors in relation to change. Complainants are however an interesting group - some patience is needed as they come round to understanding that change is something we can only do ourselves.
So what about yourself? And what about your child or the parents you work with? Are you or they a Visitor, a Complainant or a Customer? It makes a difference!
Look out for more posts on Readiness for Change and how to work with it as it is important.
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Dr Cathy Betoin
Dr Cathy Betoin
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