Focus on resilience
I think everybody has the capacity to recover. People have been recovering since we walked the planet, from physical and mental problems. We deal with things. Human beings are very resilient. That’s the problem with psychiatric services. It isn’t concentrated on a person’s capacity for resilience, it is focused on their deficits. Traumatized as a child, raped again as an adult, homeless, becoming a mum and having kids taken into care, getting into abusive relationships – how the hell have you survived? Those are the stories that are out there – what is it about you that helps you get up in the morning? How have you survived this long? Have you always been a survivor? How did you learn to cope? What would you say to another person who has been through the same as you? These questions represent the right approach. I am not interested in their deficits – their deficits are nonsense – I look at their resilience and seek to build on it. Services look at deficit – and then make people more dependent. They hold people in services. Lets support people to build on their own capabilities. What simple steps has the individual already taken to help themselves?
Where possible its important to look for the positive. Is there a positive voice that the person can listen to? If not can we create one? How can we build positivity into the life of this person? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask - not deficit related approaches.