The history : Change & Grow

The history of Change & Grow

The history of Change & Grow

Change and Grow!

These are, without any doubt, the two most marking words of my professional life, over the last 15 years, dedicated to the treatment of various types of addictions and behavioral disorders.

They are naturally related to my own change and growth regarding the way of seeing, understanding, feeling and approaching the treatment of all types of addictions and behavioral disorders and, mainly, to the change and growth of all of those who I have been privileged to follow, either in treatment and in their subsequent recovery processes, or in their social, laboral and familiar integration.

I've started my professional career directed to the treatment of additions and behavioral disturbs, in England. While finishing my studies, I joined, as a coach, a treatment center that, at the time, was a world leader in the treatment of additions (drugs and alcohol).

In this treatment center, we used a traditional therapeutic model based on a specific program, whose focus resided not in the situations encountered, but the feelings experienced and lived in those same situations.

As I got better knowing, applying, exploring and transmitting this program to all those who needed it in order to live a completely free life, I witnessed the change and growth that its application promoted in all of those that addapted it for their lifes, with an attitude of goodwill, humility and honesty.

In fact, I found that all the individuals who applied it and practiced it in their lives on a daily basis, became able to overcome their dependencies, achieving simultaneously a personal development that open them for a inner growth, also enabling them to obtain free, fulfilled and happy lives.

By noticing those results, I was overtaken by two questions whose answers came up to reveal as fundamental for my personal and professional future:

The history of Change & Grow
  • Why that traditional therapeutic model that was only used in an almost exlusive way for the treatment of 2 specific dependencies (drugs and alcohol), and not in a more comprehensive way, which could include the treatment of all types of chemical dependencies and behavioral and emotional disorders?
  • For what reason the practice of that same model could not be suggested to all those who, regardless of suffering, or not, from an addition or from any other problems, wanted to adopt it as a "life philosophy", in a way of developing a greater self-knowledge that also led to personal development and inner growth?
  • After spending some time reflecting over these two questions and on any possible implications that could prevent the application of that therapeutic model to all those who needed it, without finding any reasoned explanation for that to happen, I decided to put that questions to other professionals, with more experience in applying that same model, in order to get an explanation about the reason, or reasons, for it to be applied in such an "exclusive" way.
  • In general the answers that I got pointed, for the most different reasons, to the almost " mandatory" application of this therapeutic model exlusively for drug and alcohol dependents.

Some of the reasons were:

  • That the principles of that model assumed, as a basis for sharing and identification, the specific root of the problem dependency (alcohol, drugs);
  • That it's principles were solely and exclusively intended to those who were either dependent or suffering from problems related to alcohol and drugs;
  • That the principles of that model were based on the identification of specific feelings related to the specific additions for which they had been designed, not making any sense if it were otherwise;
  • That it didn't make any sense that someone without problems and without suffering from some kind of dependency, only intending to experience a personal development program, had to be admitted in a treatment center for dependencies with true dependents, since he would never identify himself with the others;
  • That it didn't also make any sense joining patients with the most different kinds of dependencies or disorders in the same treatment centre, and that much less sense would make to join all these patients, with persons without any kind of dependency but wishing to practice a program of personal development;
  • That was no reason on transmiting the principles of the therapeutic model to whom did not need them to live free from dependencies, or to find a new way of life;

Well... these were some of the answers that I've received, among others .....

The history of Change & Grow

By analyzing all of them, I realized that the only obstacle that prevented the possibility of applying that traditional model on a more open and comprehensive way, allowing everyone to use it, was the fact that its focus for identification was specificaly based on the root of the problem (disorder/dependence).

As I was used to deal with problems, I thought that, like all the others, this would be one more problem for which I would have to find the solution ...

By placing myself before the duality Problem/Solution, I realized that although not all individuals are able to identify through the root of their problems, all can identify through the search of their solutions .

This thought was, actually, the first step towards the realization of a new concept aimed at personal development, named Change & Grow ®.

A new concept whose emphasis should be placed not on the element that promotes the separation of those who have problems, ie, their origin and their differences, but in a new and much more positive element, that would promote the union, the empathy and the identification of all the individuals, regardless of their problems, diseases or even for the lack of one or the other…

Despite knowing, in advance, that the decision to develop this new concept, as always happens with all the innovative ideas that break with the standardized ones, was going to generate some discussion and even controversy, I decided that this was a challenge to which I could not "turn my back ".

Since then, I started to develop this new concept, named Change & Grow®, that, by having it's focus of identification on the solutions and not on the problems, on the similarities and not on differences, also making each one responsible for the achievement of their well-being, enables any individual, regardless of his problem, addiction or even their inexistence, to find strategies to outweigh the difficulties of their day to day life, in order to achieve a suitable, stable, responsible, fulfilled and happy life.


Eduardo da Silva, 2012

Living in the solution…


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