Clearly, therapists must always respond with empathy, understanding, and attuned clinical expertise to clients’ suffering. But the theme of this issue is that in their urgency to relieve pain, therapists must not overlook the rich possibilities for health and growth within every person, without which even the most skilled clinician in the world can do nothing. In the end, all clients must, to some extent, be their own healers.
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Clients' Symptoms Offer Clues to Their Strengths
As therapists, we’re taught to be master detectives who methodically investigate our clients’ symptoms in search of a “culprit”—the source of their pain. But if we spend too much time preoccupied with symptoms, we’re likely to miss important clues to hidden strengths, which can transform the experience of psychotherapy.
A Self-Described Grouch is Trying to Turn Happiness into a Science
Self-Described grouch Martin Seligman, the father of the positive psychology movement, is trying to turn happiness into a science.