The task is fairly simple for the practitioner: Take about 5 minutes to reflect on your upcoming client’s strengths. What are their signature strengths? What strength-based discussions have you had with them already? What strengths do they overuse? What strengths are they using in their daily life? In meetings with you?
The simplicity of this exercise and the benefits that emerge are palpable. So this has got me wondering….
Perhaps this could be applied much more widely than just the therapist-client encounter? Might this be a useful approach for anyone to take before they approach their family members, friends, students, colleagues, or employees?
Envision the following:
My final question for you is this: Why not? Why not prime yourself to see and reinforce the best qualities in those you care about most?
Fluckiger, C., & Grosse Holtforth, M. (2008). Focusing the therapist’s attention on the patient’s strengths: A preliminary study to foster a mechanism of change in outpatient psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64, 876-890.
Flukiger, C., Caspar, F., Grosse Holtforth, M., & Willutzki, U. (2009). Working with patients’ strengths: A microprocess approach. Psychotherapy Research, 19(2), 213-223.
Fluckiger, C., & Wusten, G., Zinbarg, R. E., & Wampold, B. E. (2010). Resource activation: Using client’s own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.
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Last reviewed: 20 Sep 2012