But change and safety have to…

I think it is very important to remember that change does not happen in a state of comfort. I get to see this played out very frequently.  Many of the parents that bring their kids to us want to see change in those kids.  However, the kids seem to be comfortable in their behaviors and believe it is only their parents that have a problem.  If it is more of a problem for the parents than it is for the child, why would the child be invested in changing?  I see the same thing with horses. People want a different response from their horse but they are often unwilling to make it uncomfortable for either of them.  This is where the problem lies.  If I am unwilling to do things that make me uncomfortable so that I can have a better relationship, can I really expect the child or the horse to do so?  I see many parents and horse trainers who are afraid to ask more from the relationship because it makes them uncomfortable to ask.

That being said, change and safety have to run in the same herd for the change to be good for the relationship. Too many times I see change come because it becomes unsafe to not change.  That becomes submission or appeasement, both of which will eventually show up as aggression.  This aggression can be passive aggression such as manipulation.  All too often though, it shows up as defiance, resistance, or outright physical threat or action.  Change can only have lasting positive results when it happens in a state of safety.  Remember, safety comes from a well-built relationship, not a list of safety rules.  It comes from change that has been created in a state of safety but not comfort.