“Growth occurs in connection. There are five good things that characterize a growth-fostering relationship: 1) increased zest (vitality), 2) increased ability to take action (empowerment), 3) increased clarity (a clearer picture of one’s self, the other, and the relationship), 4) increased sense of worth, and 5) a desire for relationships beyond that particular relationship. These five good things describe the outcomes of growth-fostering relationships, that is, the outcomes when growth occurs through mutual empowerment and mutual empathy; we grow not toward separation, but toward greater mutuality and empathic possibility.”

Jean Baker Miller (1986)

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6 Responses to “Growth occurs in connection. described…

  1. Nnenna says:

    Will add ‘Freedom’. Freedom to undertake, freedom to explore, freedom from fear of failure and freedom to innovate.

    • Freedom from oppression is the freedom from inhibitors to growth-fostering relationship. Oppression of all kinds – Oppressive work environments, sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, colonialism — inhibit individuals’ ability to innovate, explore, learn and take risks. The suffering that comes with disconnection and alienation happens, not just at individual and family level, but at this social/cultural shaping of self.

  2. This is similar to a paper I’ve recently written on the role of the connected relationship in fostering resilience in street youth. Will email it to you :) But essentially a connected relationship is marked by the A,B,C,D and E of contingent communication where the adult:
    – Affirms and approves of where the youth is now, not where they want them to be,
    – Believes in a positive future and outcomes,
    – Collaboratively identifies strengths,
    – Demonstrates receptivity to non-verbal signals,
    – Endeavours to be consistent, predictable, sensitive and perceptive.
    The connected relationship is characterised by the heart qualities of loving kindness, tenderness, care, self-compassion, and love (Germer, 2006). This applies both to the adult and to the youth, since such relational mindfulness requires that we be both present and receptive to ourselves before we can enact that state with others (Front, 2008). The aim of mindfulness is to “evoke a complete state of mind” (Germer, 2006) where we can be present in the moment.
    All food for thought xxx

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Tiff – a morning of twittering, facebooking and blogging – does it ever end? Link to my paper here http://www.roho-tz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/KA702_In-depth_Enhancing-resilience-in-street-children_McA_final.pdf xxx