Force field analysis, according to Steven Covey, states that in any current level of performance or being as a state of balance between the driving forces that encourage upward movement and the restraining forces that discourage it.

Driving forces generally are positive, reasonable, logical, conscious and economic.  In combination, restraining forces are often negative, emotional, illogical, unconscious and social/psychological.  Both forces must be taken into account in dealing with change.

In the area of recovery for example there is a certain “climate” in this field – a certain level of positive or negative interaction, of feeling safe or unsafe in expressing feelings or talking about concerns, or respect or disrespect in communication among family members.

We may really want to change that level.  We may want to create a program that is more positive, more respectful, more open and trusting.  Our logical reasons for doing that are the driving forces that act to raise the awareness level of our cause.

But increasing those forces is not enough.  Our efforts are opposed by restraining forces – by the competitive spirit between organizations, by the different recovery methods employees in the field have brought to the relationship, by different habits that have developed in this field, by work or other demands on our time and energies and most importantly by oppression as well as the number one restraining forces within the Indigenous Community – lateral violence.

Increasing the driving forces may bring results – for a while.  But as long as the restraining forces are there, it becomes increasingly harder.  It is like pushing on a spring.  The harder you push, the harder it is to push until the force of the spring suddenly thrusts the level back down.

The resulting up and down, yo-yo effect causes you to feel, after several attempts, that people are “just the way they are” and that “the system is too difficult to change.”

How do we get around this?  This is where our services come in.  We will work with individuals to get them to a point where they have the courage and strength to share their story.  Once a person shares his or her story in its entirety there is nothing anyone can do or say that can bring further harm to the individual because once they share their story their healing has begun and there is no one or no thing that can take that away from them.  Our philosophy is that it does not matter what a person did, it matters what are they willing to do to become accountable, responsible and transparent?

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