December 6, 2011


Today in group, at the partial program that I'm at right now, we talked about the strengths perspective. I wanted to share the handout that we got about it because I found it very inspiring. It also reminded me of something I drew in art therapy about making the choice between the negative and positive path.

The Strengths Perspective

The strengths perspective builds on the idea that there are untapped resources of energy and momentum in our lives. We can direct ourselves to guard against allowing ourselves to using the negative labels that dictate or constrain the course of our treatment by emphasizing on solution-focused introspection, goal-setting, and identifying and mobilizing our strengths that are useful in the therapeutic process. We have to identify both our risk and protective factors, and target and reinforce the qualities, attributes, and aspirations that have the greatest potential to contribute to positive outcomes. This is the opposite of looking at our recovery as a prevention-oriented process, and avoiding victim mindsets, and seeing the environment as full of resources and assets.


November 11, 2011
The theme for this was to draw a path representing some aspect of your life. I drew the choice that I see ahead of myself right now between continuing along the path I had been going along before to the left and going towards recovery to the right. The path on the left is painful and obviously not the best choice but I can see where it goes and I know the path, so even though it looks bad it's almost easier to take that path. The other path on the right has growth and a lake with a sunset but it's hidden behind the tree so it's hard to see where it leads to and it's hard to know what to do to get there.

I want to choose the path to recovery and I hope that I have the strength to continue on that path. I always thought of recovery as a preventative thing. I never thought about healing as finding reasons to enjoy life, I always thought of it from the other direction, as finding ways to stop suffering. I didn't care about enjoying life, I just wanted to stop feeling the pain. Maybe that's why some of my coping mechanisms include dissociative symptoms. I need to start looking forward to life rather than being so afraid of it. I also think I need to start noticing the "victim-mindset". I've gotten comfortable with my disorders - I've found other ways to avoid my symptoms and my anxieties and allowed myself to feel helpless in the face of my own life. I need to make the choice to become empowered and to fight for myself because I deserve to have a better life. I want to choose to thrive and not just survive.

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