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Hope Therapy and Resistance

Posted Jan 07 2009 6:51pm

Over at one of my favorite blogs, PsychCentral, is a fascinating post about the growing trend of Hope Therapy

Dr. Jennifer Cheavens tells us that “Hope therapy seeks to build on strengths people have, or teach them how to develop those strengths. We focus not on what is wrong, but on ways to help people live up to their potential.”

Cheavens said hope differs from optimism and can be taught. "If you feel you know how to get what you want out of life, and you have that desire to make that happen, then you have hope."

I'd just like to add something. And I think it is an important footnote. Should you find yourself aware of what you need to do, have the skills to do it and still cannot make changes, you need to look at Resistance.

Resistance is a fascinating psychoanalytic phenomenon. It should not be viewed as negative or undermining, but rather as road block. Analyzing the reasons for resistance can illuminate, educate and inform. And answers are good things.

So if you find yourself stuck, ambivalent or unable to change, don't think that you don't have hope. Don't think that you don't have the skills to get you where you want to go. Think resistance - and dive on in and look at the reasons.

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