Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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How might a strengths-based approach, like positive psychology, be more effective in working with clients suffering from mental illness?

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Strength-based approaches have been shown to offer numerous advantages. Because they focus on the individual and emphasize their strength and self-determination, such approaches build on the positive attributes that are in place. Practitioners identify the resourceful and resilient dimensions of each client and assume that they retain at least some of those characteristics, even in an adverse situation. Taking this perspective is actor-centered, as the individual is the agent of change. The counselor assists the client through providing an environment conducive to the client’s control of that change. Emphasizing the individual’s emotional information-processing and thought processes facilitates communication, as individuals identify and positively value their own capacities. Rather than focus on negative factors and determine how to alter them, the counselor helps...

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