About the Model

This model is a relationship polarity and connection model that was born out of necessity to support young people in making meaningful connections with each other and the adults that were trying to support them.

While completing her clinical psychology doctoral internship in southeastern Idaho in 2015, Ruth Diaz discovered the model after witnessing repeated reaction-based negative reinforcement behaviors by staff on an inpatient psychiatric adolescent unit.
“Through a weekly therapy group, the adolescents and I honed and practiced ‘returning to compassion’ (which became the name of the model), and I watched as these young people begin to awaken in their own ability to practice meaningful and healthy relationship behaviors with each other and staff.”
The model was so successful that Ruth was invited by the director of the hospital to use it to train staff. At the conclusion of this rotation in December 2015, she conducted several hospital and state-wide training’s with multiple groups of inter-professional teams on recognizing complex trauma reactions (in themselves and others) and using the model to practice Returning to Compassionate relationship.
“I have found that teaching this model (often on a daily basis) to many of my patients has helped me refine and simplify it down to the current version that is most often taught by myself
and others (e.g., clinic staff, colleagues, supervisors) who have adopted it as helpful tool in explaining and redirecting relationships in conflict back into connection.”

This model is a standalone teachable template that invites each of us when wcropped-1458061432.pnge are feeling trapped or frozen to come back to our sense of connection to each other and ourselves.  It is designed so that we learn how to re-center without anything on the outside changing to fit our needs.  It is a re-orienting “compass” that identifies polarizing relationships and where one fits in those polarities.  Using a catchy visual and simple recipe for each polarity/archetype we embody in negative interactions, it teaches us how to get back to the humanness of heart and reconnect to those around us in a meaningful way.

Used with a variety of populations, this model can be helpful in working with any kind of relationship to support a new understanding of when we are caught in compassion-fatigue cycles instead of inspiring connections. As everyone remembers their curiosity, more positive effects are evident around us, within our own reactive patterns, and in the group dynamics of the our family, friendship, and professional circles.  The model reminds us of the positive effects we are all having on each other and ourselves.

Previous reviews of this model (by professionals and academics) have connected it with systems science, attachment theory, intersubjective approaches, social constructionism and traditional individualism, biopsychosocial theories, and more.  If you notice other connections, either scientific, philosophical, or spiritual, let us know.  We would love to help this model grow and consider it a modern, “open source” work, ready to be changed and expanded by all who are pulled by it.