Quantum Change

When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives

William R. Miller and Janet C'de Baca

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
May 2, 2001
ISBN 9781572305052
Price: $15.95 $11.96
212 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
October 21, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $15.95 $11.96
212 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $31.90 $17.54
212 Pages

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.

“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

Table of Contents

I. The Context

1. Something Old, Something New

2. The Landscape of Quantum Change

3. Before

II. Insights

4. The Insightful Type of Quantum Change

5. Boom

6. Taking the AA Train

7. A Mirror and Two Roses

8. Awakening

9. Ripples

III. Epiphanies

10. The Mystical Type of Quantum Change

11. The Reluctant Mystic

12. Something Like a Star

13. A Voice in the Fireplace

14. At Pecos

15. Trampoline

IV. Reflections

16. After

17. Are Quantum Changes Always Positive?

18. What Happened?

19. Messages to Humankind


An Invitation

Appendix. Values: What Matters Most to You?


About the Authors

William R. Miller, PhD, is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. He has published 40 books, including Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, and his many scientific publications reflect his interests in the psychology of change, the treatment of addictions, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. The Institute for Scientific Information lists him as one of the world's most cited scientists.

Janet C'de Baca, PhD, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of New Mexico. She is currently a research scientist with the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest, in Albuquerque. Her professional interests include cross-cultural psychology and the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors.


Interested general readers; mental health professionals, counselors, clergy, and students.