Potential, Not Pathology: Focusing on Existing Resources

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When a person seeks treatment for substance abuse or an addiction, how the therapist structures their treatment will have a significant impact on their recovery.

During therapy, it can be easy for a therapist to concentrate on the pathology—the problem for which the client is sitting in front of them. However, identifying and focusing on the client’s natural strengths can be a more effective way to help growth and recovery.

Focusing on Resources

Any therapist who is treating a client for addiction should be able to effectively identify key elements associated with the addiction. However, focusing solely on the addiction can give it too much power and emphasis, potentially making the therapy experience overwhelming.

Finding a therapist who takes a “potential, not pathology” approach will help you identify your inherent resources, which are strengths and skills that are already a part of who you are.

Resources are events, emotions, behaviors and beliefs that you have experienced that can be used to help you during your healing process. Recognizing your natural resources enables you to experience and explore all aspects of your life in a manner that will facilitate healing and recovery.

Proper Framing During Treatment

The manner in which a therapist frames the therapy session and overall treatment program can have a substantial impact on how easy it is to identify potential strengths that you may be able to use to fight the addiction. When your therapist is working with a potential resource, they are working to identify those elements of your personality and psychological makeup that are capable of assisting you in achieving a complete recovery.

Accessing Inner Resources

A well-designed addiction therapy program will focus on working to identify your natural resources. In addition, a significant portion of the therapy sessions will be designed to help you identify and recognize these strengths yourself. When you are able to identify these strengths in yourself, it will be easier to use them in a manner that will help you to maintain your sobriety.

Recovering from addiction is a dynamic process, and confidence, security and comfort are essential elements to a successful addiction treatment plan. Focusing on your ability to effectively engage and overcome addiction through resources and strengths that already exist is a significant step toward building confidence and self-esteem.

Lack of confidence and low self-esteem can be a negative influence on the healing process, but the “potential, not pathology” method of treatment helps to build confidence, and it identifies resources that are readily available for you to use.

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