December 11, 2007

Normalizing - depathologizing technique

One of the nice things about the solution-focused approach is that it has many subtle and effective techniques. One of them is normalizing. Normalizing is used to depathologize people’s concerns and present them instead as normal life difficulties (Corcoran, 2002). It helps people to calm down about their problem. It helps them realize they're not abnormal for having this problem. Other people in their situation might respond the same. This is important, because if they felt angry and they'd also feel their anger was pathological, they'd have two problems, their anger and the fact that they behaved pathological. That their behavior would be pathological would be a surplus problem to the original problem (the thing they were angry about). Normalizing helps to prevent this surplus problem from happening. By saying something like: "Of course, you're angry, I understand. It's normal to be angry right now." You can help people to relax and to move on relatively quickly beyond their anger.

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