What’s Right With You?

What if the secret to healing a wound was to focus on the parts that are not wounded? This may sound ridiculous, but this odd strategy works! A deficit in modern psychology is its emphasis on wounds. For example, the DSM5 is a book used by professionals in the field of psychology to identify groups of symptoms and label them as various mental ILLNESSES. The book is composed of over 150 mental ILLNESSES. That number becomes much larger when one considers all the modifiers for each disorder. I graduated from a clinical counseling program; therefore, I can appreciate the importance of identifying

the individual’s diagnosis for treatment purposes. For example, it is important to be aware of the manic component of Bipolar Disorder when working with a patient with this diagnosis. My concern is mental health professionals and clients focus so much on what is wrong with the individual that they do not consider that individual’s strengths! This is huge! If someone who has depression spends their entire session focusing on what is wrong with them, how can they get better?

Everyone has strengths that can be used to reduce suffering and improve satisfaction. Counseling is a great place to dig deeper into oneself and figure out how to tap into these strengths to battle stress and mood disorders. For example, people who enjoy art can use this medium to express themselves and relieve stress. There are many people who are great with kids. When people focus on how they can use their strengths to contribute to others and their community, they are less inclined to focus so much on what is not going so well in their lives. What if counseling sessions started with “What is right with you?” instead of “What is wrong?”

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