My graduate training was heavily focused on disease, disorder, diagnosis and interventions specific to those problems.
The person-centered, strengths perspective is the foundation of creating the rapport and space necessary for client-driven, sustainable change – for ANY helping professional, from a personal trainer helping a client lose weight to a therapist helping a couple navigate conflict better.
We have become a disease/symptoms-focused society. It’s time to change that – personally and professionally.
When we hyperfocus on the problem, we magnify it, reinforcing problematic beliefs that are at the root of the issue.
Every client is a whole person with inherent strength and wisdom.
The presenting problems are frequently just what can be seen above the surface. They are warnings of a bigger problem: a check engine light.
Addressing the problem directly – such as through a diet and exercise plan to lose weight or a conflict resolution checklist for the couple – may provide temporary relief, but ultimately the client needs to design their own solution, take that journey, and uncover the beliefs, narratives and unresolved conflicts to root out the underlying issue.
As helping professionals, we have the unique opportunity to create that relationship and hold the space that empowers clients to recognize their ability to face the uncertainty and come out stronger.