social icons graphic

Positive Thinking in Therapy

Positive Thinking in Therapy

“With a positive mental attitude you cannot fail to succeed.

With a negative mental attitude you cannot fail to fail.”

But then:

“There is no such thing as failure: only feedback!”

(Clearly both these quotes are technically false, but they are interesting ideas to contemplate)

Everything is an outcome of an action. Depending on your perception of the outcome, actions can be repeated/avoided/adapted to produce the same or different outcomes. Set backs can be considered as opportunities for learning, improving and testing one’s resolve.

Positive thinking is vital to achieve success, fulfilment and to reach your goals. However, positive thinking needs to be combined with positive action. Making positive affirmations every day is fine, but on its own will do little.

The bottle may be perceived as half full or half empty, but this doesn’t change reality. In fact too much positive thinking can result in a client falling short of reaching their potential. If they are content with a half full bottle, what’s to motivate them to fill it?

Here’s an example of an intervention

Therapist:         How are you today?

Client:            Great: I just scored 55% in my mock exams which is fine: that is enough to pass and then I can stay on for next year.           I am feeling very positive about my work.

Therapist:         What would happen if you got 70% at the end of this year instead?

Client:            Well, then I would have a greater cushion for next year when I take my finals as I’d have already got a first in this year’s 25%.

Therapist:         So would that be worth aiming for?

Client:            I can try

Therapist:         How would it be to consider what you need to do and then just do it, rather than trying?

Therapist:            Seems like a plan: I will feel better about what I am doing, and I’m almost certain to do better than I would have!

Recent Posts