Essay: Change: Developmental Levels, Systems

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[. . .] Rather than attempting to "fix" singular personality traits that are most likely to lead to abuse, a process often defined as singling out "red flags" among abusers and victims, the domestic violence counselor should consider the sum total of all of whole system or pattern to rectify the situation. They may also consider the entire change that occurs within the developmental system as a victim leaves an abuser. This will consider the emotions that accompany an individual as they move from one place to another, as a move generally in any person, abused or not, will result in distinct personality and attitude shifts.

Naturally there are opportunities and challenges presented by implementing a system wide change that includes assessing the environment rather than approaches change management from a step-by-step process. The opportunities presented are multitudinous. From an individual perspective, there are opportunities to help counsel both victim and abuser. If the counselor educator takes into consideration the developmental personality and traits of the victim and abuser, rather than one or the other, there is the chance that more families may receive treatment as a whole rather than one or the other receiving treatment. More centers may participate in treatment that involves both victim and abuser. At present there are often facilities that address victim treatment but very few that attempt rehabilitation from the perspective of the abuser. Most at best address treatment from an anger management perspective, which traditionally has not provided much benefit to the abuser, because this approach is one that is more stage oriented meaning it addresses only one facet of personality rather than addressing abuse as a continuum or looking at the personality and behavior traits of abuse as a whole (Burnett & Barkley, 2011). Just as important as treating the victim is treating the abuser as this individual is part of the collective whole. This may also help society as a whole, rather than help individuals operating within society. There is also the consideration of the many different environments from which all victims and abusers come from. No two are the same. People from different cultural backgrounds may have vastly different responses to changes of environment and situations. Women that are more liberal as in Western countries may take a completely different approach to changes in their situation and attitudes regarding violence than women who are raised in cultures where women are naturally considered inferior to men. Thus counselor educators may have to consider developmental system-wide approaches that take into consider multiple factors including the cultural backgrounds, ethnic and religious beliefs and other personal factors that may impact the developmental stages that impact the whole outcome of the client.


There are many different developmental stages the counselor educator must consider when addressing change management and the issue of domestic violence, just as there are many developmental theories that address the issue of change management. There are stage developmental approaches and phasic developmental approaches. RJ developmental theories that address a more stage or whole approach that looks at the process of developmental change considering all steps of the ladder of change at one time are the most comprehensive in helping the counselor educator address the issue of domestic violence. Overall, great strides may be taken in the field of domestic violence if a system wide approach to developmental change takes place to help counselor educators' move forward into the 21st Century.


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Wagner, T., Kegan, R., Lahey, L.L., Lemmons, R.W., Gamier, J., Helsing,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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