Change: What Really Leads to Lasting Personal Transformation

Overview


Change is often a mystery, one that baffles doctors, therapists, teachers, coaches, parents-and especially those of us who struggle to alter bad habits or simply make lasting improvements in our lives. Why do we suddenly change for the better after years of failed efforts? Why do some of us never escape our self-destructive behaviors, even when we desperately want to? What is it that most reliably and effectively produces growth, learning and development that persist over time?...
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Overview


Change is often a mystery, one that baffles doctors, therapists, teachers, coaches, parents-and especially those of us who struggle to alter bad habits or simply make lasting improvements in our lives. Why do we suddenly change for the better after years of failed efforts? Why do some of us never escape our self-destructive behaviors, even when we desperately want to? What is it that most reliably and effectively produces growth, learning and development that persist over time?

In this vividly written volume, psychotherapist Jeffrey Kottler weaves together inspiring stories and the latest research, taking the reader on a fascinating exploration of human behavior while highlighting what does-and does not-lead to lasting change. Kottler illuminates our many efforts to change-to stop taking drugs, reduce dependencies, leave a destructive relationship, find new and more meaningful work, or adjust to a devastating accident or trauma. Readers are invited to explore key triggers such as hitting bottom, moments of clarity, the power of altruism and service, travel to new surroundings, reading or listening to stories, religious conversion, and much more. Kottler also explores why most changes don't last and what we can do to prevent relapses.

Throughout the book, Kottler recounts stories of colleagues and patients-and even recalls episodes from his own life-often moving tales of remarkable, unexpected, and lasting transformation. He looks for instance at a young black basketball star, confined to a wheelchair for life after being shot four times, who turned his life around, becoming a scholar and a PhD.

An intriguing glimpse into the complexity of the human psyche, Change will engage anyone who has ever struggled to alter a habit, enrich relationships, recover from disappointment or failure, strive for more meaningful and productive work, deal with anxiety, loneliness, fears, stress, and depression, or transform their lives in any kind of significant way.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/01/2013
Kottler (counseling, California State Univ., Fullerton; Counseling Skills for Teachers; On Being a Therapist) here attempts, mostly successfully, to encourage both clinicians and their clients to harness as many intervention processes and psychophilosophical approaches as possible to assist in achieving transformative change. In this engaging overview of current research combined with well-documented case studies, he conveys a refreshing skepticism about "evidence-based Holy Grail technique[s]" and instead emphasizes a client-centered approach based on respecting client reporting. Topics of inquiry include why people resist necessary change, how people decide to change, why some people change suddenly and some incrementally, why and how trauma can effect both positive and negative change, what triggers cascades of incremental change, why sometimes healthy and positive changes are not maintained, and how to prevent relapse. Kottler occasionally falls into prose beset by banalities (e.g., "Questions To Consider When Planning a Transformation"), but readers will find his overall intellectual reach satisfying. VERDICT Recommended for self-help seekers who prefer clinical depth and for clinicians who prefer a broad and well-researched base of approaches.—Kellie Benson, Oakton Community Coll. Libs. Des Plaines, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199981380
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 637,702
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey A. Kottler is one of the foremost authorities and prolific writers in the fields of counseling, psychology, and education. He is the best-selling author of more than 80 nonfiction books that deal with a wide range of subjects, including a variety of contemporary issues related to helping and healing, truth and lies, creativity, transformative travel, and stress management. He is Professor of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton, and President of Empower Nepali Girls, an organization that provides scholarships for at-risk children in Nepal.

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Table of Contents

1 The Mystery of Change
2 What Works and What Doesn't
3 The Process of Change
4 The Power of Stories
5 The Benefits of Hitting Bottom
6 Growth through Trauma
7 Changing in Therapy
8 Transformative Travel and Spiritual Journeys
9 Between Truth and Lies: Deceiving Yourself and Others
10 Moments of Clarity: Insights & Breakthroughs Talking to Yourself
11 Facing Fears and Managing Stress
12 Creating Meaning and Happiness
13 Changing People's Lives While Transforming Your Won
14 Resolving Conflicts in Relationships
15 Why Whatever You Learned Might Not Last

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