Finding identity, security, and meaning in a pressured environment: the tornado model

  • Angel Naivalu
  • Elaine Walton
Keywords: Chaos theory, complex systems theory, external stressors, identity, meaning, security


Using chaos theory, the authors introduce a model for addressing the environmental context of clients who felt pressure both from the dominant culture which surrounds them and from their families or culture of origin. The conflicting pressures and resulting chaos are compared to a tornado, and the authors explain how the “tornado model” is applied in therapy to help clients understand the impact of impinging forces in their lives and work toward recovery and personal growth through finding inner peace (the eye of the storm) and making use of surrounding energy through exploring personal identity, security, and meaning.