Joyful Change

Brian Marick challenged me for an expression of joyful change, especially related to software development, based on the teachings of Virginia Satir. As discussed in my previous post, he’s come to associate the combination of “Virginia Satir” and “change” with pain and the following:

…blaming… …placating… …anger… …guilt… …stress… …resistance… …denying… …avoiding… …blocking… …deny… …avoid… …anxiousness… …vulnerability… …fear…

This post is, in part, to demonstrate to him that the work of Virginia Satir is not focused on the negative. Mostly it’s to share, and rejoice in, the freedom we have to reach our goals. (Continued)

It’s Only A Model

We use models to help us simplify the situations we’re viewing, so we can reason about them more easily. I’ve often found this to be enormously helpful. It’s important, though, to remember that this is only a model. We can use a model for understanding, and even for making predictions.

We cannot substitute the model for the thing that it is modeling, though. The map is not the territory. When we use a model in contexts where it doesn’t apply, it’s likely to lead us astray. Similarly, when we mistake an illustration of the model for the model itself, we may make inferences that the model doesn’t support.

For example, a couple of my friends have recently tweeted complaints about the Satir Change Model in response to such misuses. I find the Virginia Satir’s model extremely useful, and would like to disassociate it from these misuses. (Continued)