The Change Process


Your change guidebook

Even if you are not sure how to change, or your efforts fell short in the past, don’t give up. There’s a path to something better for you. Others have done it and you can too. The steps below are the same path our founder took in his journey of healing, growth, and change. Over time, they transformed him from someone who couldn’t control his anger and would sometimes get violent with his partner to someone who handles conflicts and stressors in a much more productive, violence-free way.

Use this as your guide. We’ve found that the first step, desiring change, is crucial – you need to be determined and motivated to make this journey. Generally, we suggest you work through Steps 2, 3, and 4 in order, although there is nothing that says you have to.

We’ve included a section about testing your progress. If you thought you were ready to move onto the next step, but then find out you still need to fill some gaps from a previous step, feel free to go back. It’s not possible to perfectly master any of these concepts. Perfect people don’t exist. Forgive yourself if you mess up, then use it as motivation to get back to work. If you are determined, you will eventually get there.

We’ve also included a section called “The God Factor” because many people find it is the single most important catalyst for their change. If your first reaction is, “Oh, that’s not for me,” we get it, but please don’t dismiss it. Our goal is to share with you everything that we have seen to be helpful, so this site wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t share that part of the journey.

Like any guidebook for a journey of this magnitude, we can’t possibly cover everything you might need to know. That’s why we

This is not a quick fix, it’s a process. Expect setbacks. Anticipate frustrations. Give yourself time to work and grow. If you were training for the Olympics, you’d expect to work hard for years before reaching your potential. The same need for motivation, persistence, and patience applies here. Keep working, and even in a month or two you will notice differences in your behavior. It’ll feel really great when that happens.

Let us say this again. If you have resolved to change, to stop hurting the people in your life that you love, then change is possible. We’re with you on this journey. Stick with it. Get help when you need it. You CAN do it!

barbed wire tree

Step 1 Desire change

The critical element for change is your desire for change. In order for the process outlined here to be effective, a person needs to be highly motivated to do whatever it takes to make that change happen. Still wondering if this website applies to you? Click on the button below to review the effects your actions may be having on your partner and you! As you read it, think about what parts motivate you to change.

Preventing rage with locked door

Step 2 Prevent rage

Rage is that state where we are so angry, we can’t think straight. Then, we end up doing something we shouldn’t and regret it later. While it may seem like you get enraged in a flash, there are likely warning signs that you are heading toward that point. Being able to recognize those signs and apply the brakes early makes a big difference.

Tree Roots

Step 3 Identify root causes

Preventing rage means we still need to catch and control our reactions. Some of those situations have a lot of power over us and make us especially prone to react. That makes it tough for us to see our warning signs and call time out. Our goal is to reduce the number and the power of the things that cause us to react. To do this, we have to go deeper, to the root causes of our reactions. Roots (and root causes) aren’t easy to see. Here’s an outside-in process to help identify your root causes.

a guy tuning a guitar

Step 4 Challenge thoughts

Violent reactions come when our emotions are highly charged. But our emotions come from our thoughts. If we change our thoughts after a trigger event, we change our emotions, which in turn can eliminate our destructive behavior. Seem complicated? We’ll explore this concept and give you techniques for identifying and minimizing the distorted thoughts that lead to over-sized reactions.

Measuring progress through walking

Am I there yet? Measuring progress

When you’re in the middle of your journey, you may be wondering if you are really making progress. We included this section to give you some markers to look for. A big one is how often you respond constructively to difficult situations vs. react in a destructive way, so we cover that subject. We know the journey is not a straight line and that progress is not always forward, so we look at how to cope with relapses. Finally, many individuals and their partners who’ve separated because of past violence may be wondering if it is safe to reunite, so we give you some things to consider.

Discovering God

The secret catalyst Discover the God factor

We wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission of giving you everything possible to help you make these changes if we didn’t tell you about a relationship that will help you immensely. In fact, it’s the most important relationship you can have—a relationship with God. Many of us found that relationship was more effective at removing the hurts that have caused our abusive reactions than any other single factor. It gave us purpose. It set us free from the shame we carried. If you are even a little curious, click the button below to learn more.

Read more about the Ananias Guidebook here.