Values That Guide Our Therapy
UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD
Each person has infinite worth and inherent value that cannot be diminished. Therefore, each person merits the highest measure of dignity and respect.
The therapeutic alliance is a person’s belief that his or her therapist empathizes with them and is working with them to achieve their treatment goals and what they want the outcome of their treatment to be. Key elements include:
the relational bond between them and their therapist,
the agreement between them and their therapist on therapy goals,
mutual agreement on tasks,
the agreement between them and their therapist on how to cause change to happen,
the client’s confidence in the quality of the client-therapist partnership,
the client’s ability to comfortably express negative feelings to their therapist
The therapeutic alliance is always viewed from the client’s point of view. It accounts for as much as 40% of any treatment’s result.
Positive psychology is a therapist’s conscious decision to identify and strengthen a client’s character assets and virtues – and away from focusing on problems, dysfunction, and pathology. It is a creative point of view that focuses on increasing positive emotions and skill sets that are essential to personal happiness and well-being.
Research-informed practice permits clinical research findings to shape the practice of therapy. However, it does not allow research to overshadow or drown out the voice of personal clinical experience that is essential to the art of therapy.
MEASURABLE CLINICAL OUTCOMES
Improvements in clinical outcomes are only possible if results are measured and compared. Therapy must then be modified toward the clinical approach that results in better results and outcomes.
Values That We Strive To Nurture And Grow In Our Clients
Hope, optimism, future-mindedness, and future-orientation represent a cognitive, emotional, and motivational posture where a person views the future with expectation. Hope is embracing the idea that what lies ahead may be better than what existed in the past – or resides in the present. Without hope, people remain passive. With hope, people may choose to take action. Hope is shaped by the way a child learns to explain events – by the way or style he or she learns to explain things. Hope flourishes with achievement, change, healthy social relationships, and positive well- being. In contrast, it wilts in the presence of anxiety, depression, failure, and self-defeat.
Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that he or she is personally able to exercise control, perform an action, and bring about a desired outcome. It determines how a person feels, thinks, motivates him or herself, and behaves. Self-efficacy is a critical element in a person’s subjective sense of well-being and happiness. Self-efficacy must be present before any personal transformation or change can occur. When it is absent, there is developmental stagnation and defeat.
The concept of higher power is the simple acceptance of an influence, power, or agency that is greater than self. This influence, power, or agency need not be supernatural. However, a person’s higher power must be a resource from which a person can, in an act of humility, ask for help/assistance and from whom/which strength can be drawn. However understood, to be a valid higher power, it is necessary for a person to ultimately yield his or her will to it – otherwise the power is not greater than the person. Imbedded in the concept of higher power is the idea of accountability.
Integrity is a character trait in which a person is true to themselves and accurately represents – privately and publicly – their internal states, intentions, and commitments. People who have integrity own and accept responsibility for their feelings and behavior and permit other people to hold them accountable. From the perspective of psychosocial development, this pro-social behavior begins to emerge in early childhood. It is largely learned from role models. Integrity is strongly associated with authenticity and honesty. It is incompatible with dishonesty and seriously limits an accurate self-concept.
Gratitude is the sense of thankfulness and joy a person experiences after he or she comes to believe they have received something of value from another person or entity. From the perspective of psychosocial development, this pro-social behavior is learned in middle childhood. Gratitude is essential to personal and relational well-being, and it must be present to achieve a sense of serenity. Research suggests gratitude must be present before empathy can be learned. Depression flourishes in the absence of gratitude.
Empathy is the ability to see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, and to feel with the heart of another. From the perspective of psychosocial development, this pro-social emotion is learned in early childhood. Empathy is a condition that is both necessary and sufficient for change. There is a strong relationship between empathy, kindness, and compassion. Conduct disorders and certain personality disorders are associated with a deficiency of empathy.
Forgiveness is a process whereby a person lets go of a debt or obligation that is justly owed to him or her. It is about repairing what has been broken or damaged. By unilaterally canceling an unpaid obligation, a person who has been wronged extinguishes the offender’s power to keep the offense alive through the symbolism of the unpaid debt. From the perspective of psychosocial development, this pro-social behavior increases with maturity. Forgiveness is strongly associated with mercy. Anger, anxiety, depression, hostility, and passive-aggressive behavior flourish when forgiveness is not practiced.
Altruism is a pro-social behavior that is motivated by a selfless concern for the health and well-being of another human being – simply because they are a human being. It is a behavior that appears to be unique in the animal kingdom. From the perspective of psychosocial development, this pro-social behavior emerges in late childhood and early adolescence. Altruism is strongly associated with kindness, generosity, nurturance, and compassion. Isolation and narcissism flourish in its absence.