This leads to maladaptive thinking, and negative behaviour, which can lead to much more serious problems, such as depression and anxiety. Negative emotions such as fear, sadness and guilt, especially inappropriate guilt are produced by maladaptive thinking and behaviour (Greenburg, 2004a). To solve these problems cognitive change and emotional growth need to occur. Within psychology the theory of change, and of growth has been widely studied, in order to assist people to led a healthy and adaptive life.
Shapiro (2005) states that a theory of change refers to the strategies, actions and processes an individual goes through to bring about change in their lives. Theories of change propose that one of the main goals of therapy is help move the client from a maladaptive frame of mind, and to assist growth towards a more adaptive state (Hayes, 1996). The therapist plays a very important role in this process. They offer a secure, safe and supportive space for the client to be able to lower their defences, and spend time effectively trying to change. While supportive, the therapist also helps to enable the client to confront their maladaptive thinking and to try new ways of acting and reacting. ...
The therapist also moves away from challenging the clients old patterns of behavior to supporting the new patterns of thinking and behavior (Hayes, 1996).
Theories of growth, though similar in many ways to theories of change, to go beyond the therapy aiming for the person to carry on growing, even after the therapy has stopped. The aim of theories of growth is that by using the insights they have gained in therapy they will have the ability to cognitively and emotionally manage their lives, from what they have learnt in therapy (Khong, 2006). This new growth can help the person in their relationships with their families, and in society in general, where they will feel more self-assurance, and be able to be more honest with their feelings (Khong, 2006).
The main differences between the two theories are that while theory of change focuses on changing people's behaviour by looking at how they relate in the world and react to certain stimuli, theory of growth is a more personal and introspective. Theories of growth aim for the individual to carry on growing after therapy has finished, however, theory of change tends to try to complete the change in the individuals thinking and behaviour whilst still in therapy. Growth and change theories, though they have these differences, have their similarities as well. Both aim to move the client forward, away from maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, and towards healthier and adaptive thought patterns, making their quality of life much improved.
In order for change and growth to occur in therapy, certain factors need to be present. Firstly, the client has to be ready to change, and willing to grow as a person. Changing behaviour is a complex