This a journal article review by Truphosah Fridah Monah, Counseling Psychologist.
The authors of this article present positive family therapy methodology that combines both family therapy and positive psychology in order to come up with a non-pathologizing model driven by aspects of; growth-oriented, strengths-based and relationship-focused in the process of intervening with families. In some approaches, there is a common belief that happy families are all the same while unhappy families are unhappy in their own different ways. The unique feature of positive psychology and family therapy is the mechanism of change where there is use of techniques that foster strengths, virtues, approach goals, and positive affect. The positive family therapy puts in consideration cultural backgrounds of the clients as it focuses on growth and bringing hope.
The positive family therapy approach works on ensuring that there is no any stigmatization of clients based on their mental health. This is because when stigmatized, the preconceptions and negative attitudes towards clients with mental health issues creates a barrier during therapy hence blocking the growth and change process. Positive family therapy refutes the presumption that being in therapy is in itself a sign of defective character or substandard family functioning. In reality, positive family therapy emphasizes on strengths-based, affirming approach to therapy as well as working alongside to celebrate culturally important values while freeing clients from the stressful dissonance precipitated by participation in a culturally suspect process.
Positive family therapy focuses on the broaden and build theory as the change mechanism. This theory affirms that positive emotions, no matter how small and brief they may be, can act as catalysts for sustainably enhanced well-being. The broadening being the finding that individuals experiencing positive emotions become more inclined to interact with their environment in a creative and open-minded fashion than when positive emotions are not present while the building component refers to the generative aspect that accrues greater knowledge and resources, such as social and coping skills. The client needs to be handled with crucial understanding that will not lead to any form of stigmatization. The client’s emotions are the important aspects that need to be looked into with keenness. A therapist is a person who needs to be caring about what the client is feeling and not making the client to feel worse than the present situation is making them feel.
The author of the article is
Conoley W. C.; Winter P. E.; Hawley K. J.; Spaventa V. Z.; Hernández R. J.; ( 2015). Integrating Positive Psychology Into Family Therapy: Positive Family Therapy. The Counseling Psychologist 43(5) 703–733 DOI: 10.1177/0011000015575392