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Depression Treatment: Strengths-based approaches

When we begin to experience difficulties in our lives, it is natural to shift our focus to these problems and invest our energy into “fixing” them. In much the same way as a mechanic identifies the cause of a broken motor and fixes the damaged part, we try to identify the underlying causes of our symptoms (e.g. anxiety) and try to develop strategies that diminish their intensity and frequency (e.g. breathing techniques, cognitive strategies, logical analysis etc.). Whilst this approach can be beneficial, it can also lead to us focusing exclusively on our problems while neglecting other aspects of ourselves – namely, our strengths. In some circumstances this can reduce our confidence in ourselves, and perhaps even exacerbate our symptoms.

There is a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that focusing and enhancing our intrinsic personal strengths can be as effective, or potentially more effective, than focusing on our symptoms alone.

The article “Psychological Strength Research Everybody Needs Know” by Psychology Today, reports on recent evidence that strength-based psychological interventions can be more effective in the depression treatment than problem-focused interventions.

At Esteem Psychology, we recognise the importance of establishing well-being by developing coping strategies for difficult times, and building on your own individual strengths.

To start mobilising your own existing coping resources, check out this short questionnaire to find out what your key strengths are!

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