That statement essentially encapsulates the Greenbrier philosophy. Strong Relationality is the psychological model that we use to facilitate that philosophy, and we have found it to be the most effective path to creating desire and resources for deep, lasting change.
Each of us has our own unique filter through which we see the world, ourselves, the past, present and future. Through these filters we form our identity. We identify ourselves as parents, siblings, friends, enemies, judges, experimenters, tall, short, ugly, pretty, hyper, laid back, kind, impatient and so on. Relationship is the common denominator of all those identifiers.
What those relationships mean, and what it means to be in or out of the relationship adds to our identity and understanding of ourselves. If we change our relationship, the meaning of the relationship and our engagement in it, we change our identity.
Frequently, students come to the Greenbrier Academy for Girls with harmful beliefs about themselves, the world, their ability to succeed in the future or their helplessness to overcome a diagnosis. “I am a loser”, “I am bulimic”, “I am unwanted”, I am worthless”, I am dumb”, “I am an addict”, “I am lazy” are common identity statements we hear when students first arrive. But what we are expert at is helping girls change their relationships with themselves and the world around them.
So instead of believing “I am a loser”, she can believe “I am capable”. Instead of believing “I am unwanted” she embraces “I have an important mission in this life that no one else can do like I can”. Those are powerful shifts! Those shifts take into account not only the self, but encompass the self in relationship to the rest of the world. It creates connectivity.
Without the vital work of relationship identity shifting, the more standard psychological and academic models are prone to failure. Relationship helps give the students an answer to the question WHY?