Redefining Success

January 24, 2022

This month the team at Integrated has been focusing on redefining success.  We wanted to take some time to talk about what this looks like in general, but more importantly, what it might look like for a student working with Integrated Interventions.

At integrated we take a different approach when it comes to defining what success looks like for our individual students.  Throughout the world it is easy to find examples of success.  In our podcast this month members of the Integrated team pointed out some examples of successful people, both currently and throughout history, that showcase different perspectives on what it means to be successful.  At Integrated we look at each individual student and the different lines and levels of development they are engaged in to track success.  This is a process that often can not be rushed.  Our philosophy requires us to get to know the individual student on a personal level before we can really start mapping out a successful future.  In most cases it requires the individual to start building success through smaller, more achievable tasks in order to build the foundation for lasting success.

One area that is integral to the process of redefining success with our students is working with the student to find a perspective that they believe in.  Student engagement on the road to success is vital when building work ethic to achieve the students individual goals.  A mistake we often see in the treatment world, as well as within family systems, is that of forcing a perspective of success that the student can not align with. We often see a significant drop in effort when this is the case, or a classic power struggle between the student and parents/program.  When working with individuals we have seen far more success when we build on student interests and focus on their goals, rather than a predetermined view.

This perspective is not without its own faults.  When aligning with the student we often run into a series of failures before seeing growth and success.  This can be challenging for families and other interested parties.  Nobody wants to send their student to a program to fail, but failure can be a strong catalyst to growth.  When we align with our students and support them in their ideas we are often building a stronger relationship, which leads to trust.  When we are able to build this trust with a student we have the opportunity to work with them in their failures and start guiding them toward smaller success that can have a lasting impact on future goals.  This gives us an effective platform to break down the components that led to failure and work with the student on making a plan based on those components.  In these situations we often find that when we really break it down, what feels like a large failure is really just a couple of small modifications from success.  Creating a roadmap with these modifications considered can be a powerful tool to motivate a student to try again.  This is how we cultivate growth through failure.  The most difficult part of this perspective for families can be the drive to rescue their student from failure, but this is often a pattern that needs to be redefined within the family system in order to support long term success.

At Integrated we try not to put a timeline on success for our students.  As we work with each student on achieving smaller milestones associated with independent living we highlight these areas of success along the way.  This process often, and almost always, takes time.  Having patience and capitalizing on failure are strong tools that both the family and program can incorporate to help students achieve lasting success.