Encompassing the Whole Person

Whenever you see a mental health care profession, they often focus on what is wrong with you. For example, they might say something like, “please describe your symptoms” or “how long have you been depressed?” Do not get me wrong, it is important to understand why you have noticed a changed in your mood or feeling like you cannot sit still, but mental health providers tend to focus on what is wrong with you instead of what is right. Did you know about 95% of all health care costs goes to treatment and trying to fix problems? Getting treatment for any condition you may be experiencing is important, however it is also important to focus on strengthens and skills that you have as a person.

At the root of it, Positive Psychology is the study of happiness and personal strengthens. Positive Psychology, in contrast, is a field that examines how people can become happier and live a fuller life. The first time I meet with a potential client, I listen to what brings them into my office. A majority of the time they tell me all the things that are affecting their life in a negative way. Once I am able to understand, empathize, and validate those concerns, I ask them what is going good in their life and what are some personal strengthens that they have? I often get puzzled looks not because they cannot think of any, but because medical providers typically do not ask these types of questions.

All I am proposing is that look beyond symptoms and instead see that person in their entirety. After all, humans are dynamic, resilient, smart, funny, and so much more and it is time that we stop treating them as if they are something that is broken and needs to be cured or fixed.


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