December 15, 2007

General change mechanisms - the importance of RESOURCE ACTIVATION

This article by Daniel Gassmann and Klaus Grawe has investigated the role of the importance of problem activation and resource activation in therapy. A study, I think, which is very interesting for solution-focused coaches and managers, too. Problem activation means having the client come into contact with painful emotions to overcome his or her problems. Resource activation means the client is brought into contact with the healthy parts of his functioning. The researchers closely analyzed 120 conversations of therapists using different degrees of problem activation and resource activation and they used as an outcome measure a composite of five tests measuring goal attainment, emotional and behavioral changes, changes in important relationships and patient and therapist positive therapy evaluation. The researchers found that unsuccessful therapists focused more on the client's problems and tended to overlook the client's resources which lead to the client loosing self-confidence and positive rapport with the therapist. they also did not respond with reinforcement to the patient's activated resources. Instead, they let these situations pass and continued to focus on problems. The successful therapists, however, focused on what went well for the patient right from the beginning of the session. They created an environment in which the patient felt he was perceived as a well functioning person. As soon as this was established, productive work on the patient's problems was more likely.

Thanks to Svea van der Hoorn from Australia for getting me this article



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