A Perspective Shift From the Inside Out

A few hours before I wrote this, I sat down to read a few pages from a book I recently picked back up. The book I’m reading is called “Inside Out” by Larry Crabb, and it’s about understanding yourself deeper from, you guessed it, the inside out. I assumed it was a good book when I bought it based on a previous book that I enjoyed from the same author, and I further assume that as I continue to read it, I’ll gain further insight and understanding.

Dwayne Marks
Dwayne Marks

I’m not really into reading horror or fiction, or teen novels (no offense to anyone who is) so whenever I pick up a book like this one, I hope that in some way it will help me to see things – situations and life in general – differently. However, this is a double-edged sword as I could be reading something that will in fact challenge me to think differently, deeper, more astutely. Or I could be reading something that reinforces my preferences, my ideology, my “likes” and so forth without me really knowing it.

The ability to Shift Perspective isn’t a tool you pull out the box on occasion for a job; it’s how you approach the actual job.

All I do know is that I want to add depth to my reality and what I think I know about understanding people and myself. If understanding life on a deeper level invades my security, I have to risk it if I want the truth. We have to risk the other edge of the sword. This is important in the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) model because the outcomes that we desire (the safety, stability and achievement of children and families) are primary and it doesn’t matter if the solutions rail against what we think we already know.

Perspective Shift

Perspective Shift:

A shift in perspective can bring a new reality. Helping those charged with caring for people struggling with trauma by simply changing the question from “What is wrong with you?” to “What has happened to you and how can I support you?” can bring enormous understanding.

-Excerpt from Seven Essential Ingredients for implementation of Trauma Informed Care, SaintA.org

SaintA is tirelessly trying to integrate this ingredient – inside and out – through relationships with children, parents, and caregivers as well as our staff. The ability to Shift Perspective isn’t a tool you pull out the box on occasion for a job; it’s how you approach the actual job. I saw my own perspective shift while I worked as an ongoing case manager at SaintA. I recall talking to a mom, who after several occasions of, I’ll just say, hostility towards me, said “I know my behavior isn’t normal.” It made me realize that she had enough insight and understanding to know that something wasn’t right.

Maybe she had the same kind of insight and understanding I look for when I buy books like the one I mentioned or when I pray, or write a song. Hearing her express this reality, made me want to understand what happened to her and help her to understand it’s not her fault. And to tell her I’m sorry. I’m sorry for many of us too, not so much because of our situations, but because we fail to see that it’s just a situation and it doesn’t define who we are – from the inside out.

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One Response to A Perspective Shift From the Inside Out

  1. Pingback: Working Alongside Social Workers – Michelle Sieg

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