In “The Strength-Based Counseling Model. A Paradigm Shift in Psychology“, Elsie J. Smith states that, sometimes, it is difficult for a profession to move forward because its members interpret emerging conceptual models from the perspective of old frameworks. Each of the five reactants in this issue of The Counseling Psychologist interpreted the strength-based counseling model within their own self-adopted framework—Adlerian psychology, role strain theory, optimal development, self-efficacy, or wellness. Only one reactant had the courage to say that although counseling psychology has historically “talked the talk” about building strengths in individuals, it has steadily embraced the medical model. If counseling psychology is to go forward, we will need honest appraisals of what goals we have and have not accomplished. Strength-based counseling represents a paradigm shift in psychology from the deficit medical model to one that stresses clients’ strengths. The model will hopefully encourage the profession to act on its espoused commitment to strength development for individuals across the life span.
Full paper available on http://tcp.sagepub.com/content/34/1/134.abstract