A group of clinical psychologists have recently started a debate about the increasingly frail system of labelling emotional and psychological ‘problems’. They question, rather helpfully, the tendency to label behaviour and responses as ‘problems’ at all.
EXPERIMENT: take a bit of paper and identify something current in your life – preferably a minor obstacle – and consider:
‘What happened to you?’ (How has Power operated in or on your life?)
‘How did it affect you?’ (What kind of Threats does this pose?)
‘What sense did you make of it?’ (What is the Meaning in that situation?). NB This may be more difficult than it first seems. Give yourself time, if needs be; put things down and come back to your results, if needs be).
‘What did you do, or are your doing to survive?’ (What kinds of Threat Response are you using?)
In addition, the approach picks up part of the SWOT analysis mentioned in the Blog:
‘What are your strengths?’ (What access to Power resources do you have?)
…and asks if these questions help you know:
‘What is your story?’ (and what changes, if any, do you want to make?)
Note some parallel here with the Transactional Analytic questions mentioned in my blog:
What do you want?
How will you get what you want?
What stops you getting what you want?
Who or what do you need, in addition, now, to get what you want?.
The questions, here, have in common the wish for you to ask questions that move things forward, rather than simply label a condition.
Too often health professionals spend time on what is known as ‘assessment’; collecting the ‘facts’ relevant to your life story so you can be ‘treated’.
The questions, here, leave off assessment in the traditional form, and seek to cast light on what you understand about your current circumstances.
Most importantly, it is an approach that invites you to start formulating a way forward, rather than waiting to be ‘told’!
Ways to return to the main blog: