Relationships that enable us to learn

The crucial relationships are often a part of groups that have particular importance to us. These relationships and groups give us a sense of identity, guide us as to what is appropriate and ‘good’ behavior, and provide feedback on our behavior. In sociology, they are called ‘reference groups’. The relationships create a ‘context’ within which we interpret our progress on desired changes and on the utility of new learning, and which contribute significant input to formulation of the Ideal In this sense, our relationships are with mediators, moderators, interpreters, sources of feedback, and sources of support and permission of change and learning. They may also be the most important source of protection from relapses or return to our earlier forms of behavior.

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