Saturday, March 25, 2006

Theory of Change

In creating this new approach to treatment, we had to consider our theory of change. Why do people change? What helps us to change when we notice something in our lives that we wish to improve? What inspires us to achieve, to do well at our jobs, to further our education, to live as responsible members of society? Motivations are many and complex, and include fear of punishment, monetary and other material rewards, etc. However, the basic tenet of this approach is that relationships provide the strongest motivation to people.

Relationships include wanting to please some one, not wanting to not let someone down, feeling warmed by another person’s caring, looking forward to bringing an achievement to the attention of another ("Watch this, mom!").

The restorative approach concentrates on the relationship effects of behavior. What behaviors bring you closer to another; earn you the respect of your community? What behaviors hurt and alienate others and distance you from your community? When you have hurt others, how can you make amends?

If we believe that relationships are our strongest tool in creating change, then everything we do should be informed by our understanding of what will strengthen relationships.

©2006 The Restorative Approach is a servicemark of the Klingberg Family Centers, Inc.

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