The Expanding Cup Model of Relationship-Centered Care
Developed by the Relationship-Centered Care Network of Southwest Michigan
At the "heart" of the Relationship-Centered Care model is the recognition that "self matters". When individuals lost the ability to care for themselves, they are no longer able to adequately convey caring to others. The "self is defined by the cumulative experiences of one's lifetime, and must be understood in the context of an individuals' CULTURE, FAMILY, ETHNICITY, GENDER, BELIEFS and VALUES, among other variables.
Before a person can provide Self-Care, they must have a deep understanding of themselves. This Self-Understanding is gained through a lifetime of self-reflection and continuous learning, and can be obtained at an accelerated rate through the use of tools and concepts designed specifically for this purpose. A partial listing of these concepts and tools include the:
Meyers-Briggs Character & Temperament types
La Monique Empathy Scale
Five Love Languages
Self-Care will include activities that provide each of us our our "food for the soul." A partial listing of activities would include things like:
Reading for pleasure
Service to others
Once "the Cup" has been adequately filled for self, it overflows onto others. It is then possible to become a "reciprocal learner" with and about someone else. Many of the same tools used for understanding self may also be used to understand others. We become the student of the other person.
As we recognize that we must be continuous learners, a model for learning like W. Edward Demming's "Theory of Profound Knowledge" may be used to help:
facilitate an openness to learning
teach "listening to understand"
challenge our own assumptions & stereotypes
learn what is wanted & needed
It is implicitly understood that we must "seek first to understand" the other (Stephen Covey), and learn from their life story. We must be teachable and coach-able. We must be willing to hold ourselves accountable to the same standards or caring behaviors, including the CEO, Senior Managers, physicians and everyone throughout our organizations.
It is through the process of finding mutual ground that we first come to know another. This mutuality can be reached by:
Sharing similar experiences
Accepting without judging
Recognizing that things are "not good/not bad, just different"
Listening, while allowing other to "be"
Creating healthy bonds of connectedness
Striving for interdependence
Seek for Win-Win-Win solutions
Subsequently, relationships are transformed and value is found in the
Expansion of Relationship and Connection
Ability to Care
Ability to Relate
Ability to Respect
Ability to Serve
Ability to Listen
Ability to Grow
Ability to Express Love in Action
Publications on Relationship-Centered Care by Network Members
Manning-Walsh, J., Wagenfeld-Heintz, E., Asmus, A. Chambers, M., Reed, W., Wylie, J.L. (2004). "Relationship-Centered Care: The Expanding Cup Model." International Journal of Human Caring, 8:26-31.
Matthys, D. (2006). Exploring the relationship between U.K. midwives and first time mothers receiving One-to-One vs. standard midwifery care during the postnatal period. Western Michigan University, Honors thesis project.
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Wylie, J.L and Wagenfeld-Heintz, E. (2004). "Development of relationship-centered care." Journal for Healthcare Quality, 26:15-20.