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Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives [Paperback]

by William R. Miller Phd, Janet C'de Baca Phd
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2, 2001 1572305053 978-1572305052 1
Most of us walk through each day expecting few surprises. If we want to better ourselves or our lives, we map out a path of gradual change, perhaps in counseling or psychotherapy. Psychologists William Miller and Janet C'de Baca were longtime scholars and teachers of traditional approaches to self-improvement when they became intrigued by a different sort of change that was sometimes experienced by people they encountered--something often described as "a bolt from the blue" or "seeing the light." And when they placed a request in a local newspaper for people's stories of unexpected personal transformation, the deluge of responses was astounding. These compelling stories of epiphanies and sudden insights inspired Miller and C'de Baca to examine the experience of "quantum change" through the lens of scientific psychology. Where does quantum change come from? Why do some of us experience it, and what kind of people do we become as a result? The answers that this book arrives at yield remarkable insights into how human beings achieve lasting change--sometimes even in spite of ourselves.

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Psychologists C'de Baca and Miller (both Univ. of New Mexico) define "quantum change" as a kind of sudden "personal metamorphosis." People who experience it, they believe, are sources of untapped potential for universal human healing. Collected here are dozens of "before and after" tales that the authors derived from interviews, letters, and telephone calls. These tales reflect two types of quantum change sudden insights and epiphanies as well as their characteristics. The authors successfully assert that as a person is guided to a new place of authentic truth within himself or herself, peacefulness and inner strength ensue, and a positive shift in core values results. Unfortunately, the authors do not effectively address the other side that is, quantum changes that bring negative outcomes for the examples they give do not exhibit most of the characteristics of quantum change. Still, this work is valuable because it teaches ordinary people not to fear sudden spiritual encounters. For large psychology collections in public libraries. Lisa Liquori, Syracuse, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Bill Miller and Janet C'de Baca have written a wonderful book. Not since William James's Varieties of Religious Experience has there been such a psychologically penetrating book on spiritual experience." --George E. Vaillant, MD, Harvard Medical School

"Although many people spend years struggling to fix personal problems, some people undergo sudden, dramatic, and nearly instantaneous change. This book tells their stories and identifies the core features of these transformational changes. The idea of quantum change is arguably among the most exciting in psychology, since it challenges both common sense and clinical lore. This book will appeal to anyone interested in psychological change, transformation, or the human condition. In other words, this book is for everyone." --Todd F. Heatherton, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College

"Reading Quantum Change is a mystical experience of its own. This is an exceptionally well written book that I found inspirational, enlightening, and a 'must read.' After reading this book, don't be surprised if you think about change in a new way." --Monty Roberts, author of the New York Times best seller, The Man Who Listens to Horses

Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (May 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572305053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572305052
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. William R. Miller is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. Fundamentally interested in the psychology of change, he has focused in particular on the development, testing, and dissemination of behavioral treatments for addictions. He maintains an active interest in pastoral counseling and the integration of spirituality and psychology. The Institute for Scientific Information lists him as one of the world's most cited scientists.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Exist! December 30, 2007
By Li N.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This isn't a book which will guide you step-by-step to achieving an epiphany or mystical experience all your own, which some may find disappointing. But then, such intense insights only seem to come when we link into the great vastness of the One (by whatever Name you want to call it) ... and there is no guide book that can lead us directly to the spot where that will happen because it's personal for each person. This randomness has led to these transformations being mostly dismissed by the Western World as either delusions (science) or presumption (religion), so it's a nice (quantum!) change to see a straightforward discussion on the topic. The most any guide can do is help us achieve a position where we're open to the experience, and that is the true benefit of this book. The examples in Quantum Change help you see that the potential of a link does exist, and that others have found their way to it. Opening yourself up to that possibility can be a changing point for you, too!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivals Maslow September 23, 2001
By A Customer
Everyone should read this book...everyone who has ever wondered
about life,God, psychology,sociology,religion,atheism, what is different or what is the same among people. Maslow said that few people achieve lasting peak experiences and that those peak exeriences occur over a long period of time. These authors, PhDs in the Psych field, have studied dozens of people who have had sudden, unexpected, lasting changes in their lives as well as their worldview. The individual stories are stunning. But the best thing is that the researchers have used the scientific method to quantify these experiences and to put names on common components of these Quantum Changes which differ from the usual Maslow stuff. Are these people evolving into something higher? If so, why these ordinary people? Very thought provoking. Awesome!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unique data December 27, 2003
Quantum Change is a good read and a good one for me to read. Both humbling and inspiring at the same time. And I appreciated its (empirical) message, spoken via Western science: TRANSFORMATION LIVES! Insightful and mystical types of change in otherwise ordinary people. Some had transformations on nothing more than "please, God, if you exist, show me now." Obviously, quantum change may be totally at the effect of Grace and not a particular practice. On the other hand, knowing it exists may facilitate it. In any case the accounts were fascinating. Transformation by insight was easier to identify with than the mystical change, when transformees may have given little or no thought to such possibilities. But they all exemplify what really matters: To a person all had less fear, if any, in the aftermath, often replaced by compassionate service.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful exploration of a complex subject March 18, 2005
This book looks at life-changing experiences from a scholarly, psychologically-minded perspective. The stories were inspiring and uplifting, but also realistic and believable. The people depicted had experiences that changed them forever, but they remained human, with faults and limitations like the rest of us. As a clinical psychologist with nearly 30 years of experience doing psychotherapy, I found this volume to be thought-provoking and insightful, and filled with good news about we human beings!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blends psychology with spiritual insights November 8, 2001
Sudden insights can transform lives: the psychologist authors were longtime scholars and teachers of self-improvement when they noticed life-changing realizations among their clients. An ad requesting similar experiences from others resulted in a flood of stories of unexpected transformation, and Quantum Change blends psychology with spiritual insights in considering these changes.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Validation! July 15, 2005
Quantum change happened to me last summer. I kept silent about it for so long. My expereince was not identical to any of those depicted in the book, but there were enough similarities, to give validation that I was not crazy, demon-possessed, or just weird. It took months after my experience for me to find this book, and then finding it was another one of many coincidences that came with my experience. I could not find anything on the web. I'm not sure that this book is useful for motivational purposes or for those undergoing normal life-changes. Quantum change does not happen to everyone. It is an incredible and unexpected gift from God. I am so thankful to Dr. Miller and his colleagues for writing this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but in my view not an essential read October 9, 2013
When I first began to read this book, I thought it looked promising, but it hasn't quite lived up to my expectations.

The authors distinguish between two types of quantum change, the insightful type and the mystical type. Quantum change was defined as a sudden transformation in someone's life/personality/character. I didn't really understand all the accounts by those who had had the former type of experience - it seemed they just suddenly stopped smoking or drinking or whatever. Some of the writers explained themselves better, however.

I myself have had several mystical experiences though none of them led to any personal transformation.

The best bit of the book was the personal accounts by each quantum changer. They told their story in their own words, and their accounts were well written/edited.

But I did get a bit confused sometimes, because no names were given, and I couldn't easily work out whether the person concerned was a man or woman, which I found disorientating. And later in the book when reference was made to the one or the other experience, it was difficult to remember which quantum changer was being referred to - especially as many of the experiences resembled each other quite a bit.

I found the section towards the end of the book where the experiences were being analyzed less readable. It was clear that the authors were mentally-orientated psychologists, and they didn't really come to any conclusion about the cause of these quantum changes. It was as though the analysis was too mental and perhaps lacked a larger more spiritual overview. I don't remember any reference to such matters as these events having been planned before birth, any discussion of karmic reasons for them or any such thing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Quantum Change
Great book would have liked more info on awareness and how to help people to be more present, but all in all it was good.
Published 2 months ago by Dr. Elizabeth Kapadia
3.0 out of 5 stars As Expected
I have not finished reading the book, but it is what I expected it would be: factual, detailed, with some third-person stories to illustrate points. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barbara F. Fezzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. Inspiring.
Unrelated to Religions, these stories of sudden transformations will make you stop reading and think about things. You will buy more copies and give away to certain friends. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Wetrytoplease
3.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotes are interesting, the narrative writing adds nothing
Sorry, this one left me flat. The anecdotes of people's experiences were the redeeming factor, but the redundant explanations and attempted narrative were of limited value.
Published on May 3, 2008 by EMM
1.0 out of 5 stars SNORE....
I picked this book up because I feel that I'm in the midst of a major change, and hoped to learn something. What I got was... Nothing. I rarely criticize books. Read more
Published on April 10, 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars You Gotta Search for the Meat
As a Change Consultant and guy with 30 years experience in the Fortune 50 this didnt do it for me. Too academic and too theoretical to make a difference for the people out there... Read more
Published on December 18, 2002 by G. E. Kugler
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