The following is family therapist/theorist Virginia Satir's stages of accepting change. These steps were Satir's way of discussing the process of change. You may find these a lot like Kubler-Ross' stages or facing death, since therapy is all about the process, and (rightly or wrongly) putting the process in step form makes it easier to notice changes in patients.

  1. Status Quo - The status quo in Satir's theory is the normal or accepted knowledge. This knowledge is accepted and comfortable for the individual, and the individual generally has a vested interest in keeping the state of things the same.
  2. Introduction of the Foreign Element - The introduction of the foreign element, is the stage in which a new or foreign piece of knowledge is brought to the individual's attention. The individual is often unsure of the new knowledge and may at first reject it in the stage below.
  3. Chaos - Chaos is the stage in which the individual tries to grasp the new knowledge that may either expand or contradict the status quo. During this stage the individual may become confused by the new knowledge and may reject it outright in an effort to protect the status quo.
  4. Practicing - Practicing is the first stage of integration. The new knowledge is used in practical application and the individual establishes a familiarity with it. The individual also ties the new knowledge to already accepted information or past personal experiences.
  5. New Status Quo - The new status quo is the stage when the previously foreign knowledge becomes part of the individual's new "reality". The knowledge is accepted and becomes part of what the individual considers normal.

These stages can be faced either by an individual or as a family unit. Additionally, on a macro level, the family may have to process change, while on a micro level each family member has to accept the changes on their own. In other words, each family member needs to process the change individually to allow for the whole family unit to process the change.

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