“The One Question Therapists Don’t Often Ask–but Should”


In the Washington Post psychiatrist, Samantha Boardman argues that counselors should focus on a patient’s strengths instead of what they perceive as being wrong. “The researchers found that deliberately capitalizing on an individual’s strengths outperforms a treatment that compensates for an individual’s weaknesses,” she writes. “This challenges the assumption held by many health professionals that we need to fix the problem before focusing on anything else.”

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one question therapists should ask


  1. The strengths of the person is one of the very first things that a peer worker is supposed to look for and use in their walking with that person in their quest to take up their lives and move on. But the system is so caught up in the medical model to the point that only deficits are talked about. We work a lot with people to find out where they want to go with their lives and how they want to get there.

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  2. Approaching life in a positive way is, of course, much more pleasant than today’s psychiatrists’ approach of pretending the good in their patients’ lives doesn’t exist. For example, as written in my medical records relating to my daily activities, “not believed by doctor.” Or claiming assets of the patient, for example, the fact I got in the top 99.95% on my math SATs, are “delusions of grandeur.” And after my medical records were finally handed over to me by some decent and disgusted nurses in my PCPs office, I read all my psychiatrists delusions about me, and then I pointed all of them out to him. My psychiatrist claimed my entire life was a “credible fictional story.” Truly, how stupid can a doctor be to believe a patient will believe her entire life is a fictional story? How ungodly disrespectful can a doctor be to assume a person has no assets? It’s literally written in my medical records, “w/o work, content, and talent.” And my Jewish psychiatrist said straight to my face that my name was “irrelevant to reality,” which ironically is the opposite of what 7 fabulous Jewish coworkers of mine later sat me down and earnestly told me, since I not only am named after the Jewish word for God, but also the plains of the promise land. Psychiatrists do need to learn to stop defaming their patients, and pretending their assets are non-existent or “delusions of grandeur,” and look at the positive instead. I’ve never in my life met such delusional and ungodly disrespectful people as psychiatrists.

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