Counseling Psychology’s philosophical commitment to identifying and enhancing the positives is rooted in its history, and is a necessary component of its sustained future. Here are some suggestions for enhancing skills in “locating and developing personal and social resources and adaptive tendencies” (Super, 1995, p. 5).
* Reorient yourself with developmental theories that emphasize the acquisition of skills and strengths. For example, Chickering’s theory of college student development highlights the optimal functioning that is achieved when students enhance the positives in their lives.
* Experiment with strategies and techniques that orient clients to therapy in a way that maximizes personal growth initiative and hope and expectancy for change.
* Participate in a reading group that examines counseling’s strengths perspective.
* Reconsider your definition of therapeutic outcome and incorporate aspects of well-being into your conceptualization of growth.
Please submit your ideas for developing your skills in identifying and enhancing strengths to Dr. Sara Cho Kim (sarachokim[at]gmail.com).
Periodically, some of these suggestions will be added to the list.