Monday, August 3, 2015

A Positive Psychology/Strengths Based Approach

One of the conundrums of writing a bout and considering difficult emotions is that there is a tendency to focus on pathology and deficit. There are a variety of reasons for this, however a century of post-Freudian thought has led us to obsessively attempt to "fix" ourselves. We have learned to our view ourselves through mechanistic, biomedical lenses. If there is a problem, you find it, repair it or remove it, and that is that.

As a product of my culture, I may be guilty of this tendency. I have encouraged you to explore your problematic thoughts, feelings and emotions and have provided you with some guidance on how to "resolve" them. Hopefully, I have not focused too much on deficit; there is another way (many ways, really) of approaching personal growth and transformation.

Positive psychology and the strengths perspective of social work suggest such an alternative approach, indeed an alternative way of living. These approaches, different yet converging, suggest that when we focus on helping people maximize their capacities, strengths, resiliencies, hopes and dreams, their "problems" become easier to bare, handle, resolve, ameliorate, and even transcend.

This approach suggests that while it is certainly valuable to work toward overcoming a difficult emotion, such as fear, it also suggests that the method of doing so is often through building our strengths and capacities.

Consider this and its application to your scholarly life.

No comments:

Post a Comment