Positive psychology: History and practice as a strengths-based model

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As has been noted elsewhere throughout this book, the history of psychology, social work, and counseling is replete with practitioner leaders that disagreed with the medically modeled view of clinical work that looks for problems alone. Modern day social work theorists (Rapp, 2011; Saleebey, 2009, 2012) developed ideas about a strengths-based model. Saleebey (2009) stated that “practicing from a strengths perspective means this-everything you do as a social worker will be predicated in some way, on helping to discover and embellish, explore and exploit clients’ strengths and resources.. . " (p. 1). Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Albert Bandura who cared little for pathologizing their clients’ ills found more interesting methods of working with the clients that came to be healed. Indeed, those other nonpathological methods were, no doubt, also less iatrogenic (Boisvert & Faust, 2002). Indeed, psychology’s emphasis on wellness and strengths seemed to have been center stage up until the late 1940s, when out of necessity our forefathers shifted to treatment of “diseases” for those coming back from a war (Seligman, 2002).



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Handbook of Strengths-Based Clinical Practices: Finding Common Factors

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