A lot of people have the idea that psychotherapy is always about recognizing what’s wrong in your life so you can change it. While this is indeed one effect of therapy, it’s not always the approach we use.
Sometimes, the most effective form of therapy helps you to recognize the things that are going right in your life. This is part of an approach known as strength-based therapy.
Strength-based therapy focuses more on your strengths and resourcefulness, rather than your weaknesses and shortcomings. Using this approach, we work together to reframe the stories that you tell yourself.
Are you interested in learning more about how to stop beating yourself up mentally? Dr. Judy E. Vansiea, DNP, MA, MS, APRN, NPP, of Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services explains more about this unique and effective method of healing.
What is strength-based therapy?
Strength-based therapy is a positive form of psychotherapy that focuses on your strengths and your skills. It’s highly individualized because every person has unique gifts and strengths, positive character traits that help them get through life and even be a blessing to others.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of where you place your focus. Instead of emphasizing all of the things you’ve done wrong in your life, you focus on your positive qualities.
Eventually, you’re able to recognize that you’ve survived thus far because of your strengths and good qualities. Strength-based therapy helps you to discover all the wonderful things that you bring to the world.
Who benefits from strength-based therapy?
Strength-based therapy can help with many issues, but it’s especially effective in dealing with anxiety and depression. Anyone who struggles with poor self-esteem or the damaging emotional effects of previous emotional abuse may also be a good candidate for this type of therapy.
The stories we tell ourselves form what we call our “self-talk.” Our self-talk is like the running dialogue we all have with ourselves throughout the day. It might consist of your observations about the world and the things you see. But it also reflects your deepest beliefs about yourself, which you might not recognize consciously.
Many of us have negative beliefs about ourselves based on our self-talk. But know this: Our self-talk is changeable — and so is how we view the world. When you come to believe that you’re a strong, capable, positive force for good, your entire self-image changes for the better.
How strength-based therapy is different
In psychotherapy, we often use techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form of therapy teaches you to recognize and change your negative thought patterns. But this often still encourages you to see yourself as broken.
In strength-based therapy, it’s about focusing on what’s already right about you. In addition, it’s about building a personal model of resilience. You reframe how you see yourself and your life story.
If you’ve suffered from abuse, for example, you might think of yourself as a victim. But when you reframe the story, you see yourself as victorious and strong.
Everyone has the potential to live a better life. Your path to healing might involve focusing on everything that’s already going right and recognizing how wonderful you already are. Get started today by calling Dr. Vansiea at Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services, or request an appointment online.