Saturday, November 24, 2012

How To Change Behavior

What does it take to change or improve behavior?  We can learn some secret from AA.

For so long, medicine, psychology/psychiatry, and even the church had failed the hard-core alcoholic. Especially during the early decades of this century, it was thought that there was virtually no hope for problematic, addicted drinkers.

Then came AA, which stands for Alcoholics Anonymous. For over 70 years now, AA has been successfully providing thousands of people all over the world hope and healing to overcome alcoholic dependency. Because of its success, AA has become a model for all kinds of other life recovery and self-help groups.

AA and other therapy groups change behavior based on principles, such as "accountability" and "belonging." Present day psychology and medicine underscore these therapeutic dimensions to make behavioral changes possible in people.

For example, when a person by his own choice makes himself accountable to a therapist, he finds that change of behavior becomes possible.  He is being helped to monitor unwanted, life-damaging behavior. If someone is keeping an eye and providing support, behavior improves.

The same benefits and principles are also at work when people belong to and become accountable to a therapy group, to a doctor, or to a community, study or church group. Yes, behavior can change. Behavior that is observed and supported changes.

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