Think of a time in your life when you overcame a significant, chronic, intractable problem that had challenged you for years, until somehow you managed to completely turn things around in such a way that the change has persisted to this day. How did this happen, and what was it that made the greatest difference?
Jeffrey Kottler has often explored this question-interviewing hundreds of people about their change experiences and synthesizing all the research around the globe-and he poses it in the opening pages of Change: What Really Leads to Lasting Personal Transformation. This fundamental query-how do we (or don't we) make conscious and lasting changes in our lives-has been at the center of his career as a therapist, social justice advocate, professor, scholar, and writer, and it
offers a starting point for this book.
Change is a mystery. There is no panacea, no one answer to how and why some people can alter their behavior, while others cannot, and even amongst the world's experts there is little consensus for what really makes the difference in successful transformations. From professional athletes to clients, colleagues, and his own personal life, Kottler interweaves powerful stories of transformation with contemporary scholarship and change theory in his examination of the varieties of human
transformation. The book approaches the change process through a number of lenses, considering a variety of types of change, including those triggered by a traumatic event, hitting bottom in an addiction, inspirational travel, facing fears, and the power of altruism. Each chapter is anchored by stories of
remarkable, unexpected, and lasting transformation, meant to inspire as well as illustrate the sheer range of possible change experiences.
The book should leave readers with a healthy dose of skepticism for any program that promises to change your life, while also giving them a deeper appreciation for the complexity of the human psyche.