Shields and Exits

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The core stance of effective change work is to assume that the client’s problem makes sense.

Even though they are keen to change or eliminate it, it makes sense that the problem exists.

It’s not disordered, irrational or maladaptive. Instead, it’s a perfectly adaptive protective response.

Here are two ways that problems make sense.

1. As a shield
2. As an exit

The problem as a shield:

To avoid {insert dreadful outcome} I do x.

The problem as an exit:

Whenever I experience {insert dreadful feeling} I do x.

When it’s a shield, the problem stops the client from getting into an even worse place. When it’s an exit, it helps them escape it.

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