Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

My Approach

Originally posted on November 5, 2017

This list is about 24 years old, written while I was still practicing psychotherapy and serving as an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville:

1. Weave “inner connections,” using arts, drama, the urge to creativity.
  2. Develop “psychological literacy,” skills for managing thoughts and feelings, basic knowledge that such skills can be developed—education. Many people not only don’t know this is possible, but they deny it!
  3. Work mutually, and, indeed, teach the skills of mutuality!
  4. Seek to develop a “good diagnosis” together—one that is comprehensive, discriminating, practical, constructive, understandable by the client.
  5. Integrate relationship with close others, relevant groups, extended famil, community, etc.
  6. Value love, cultivate it, believe in love, faith, openness
  7. Remind patients of their strengths, develop their talents, use their strengths to balance or heal weaknesses.
  8. Recognize the client’s many roles—a pluralistic model of the psyche
  9. Cultivate the observer role, and work with it to help it be a better manager. That is, validate the client’s attempt to co-manage the therapeutic process.
10. Emphasize process as well as content. Learn the process of exploration rather than knowing “right answers.” Self-questioning leads to “construcitvism”
11. Attend to the future; goal-setting and what is needed to progress. Dare to dream! Think in terms of growth and potential.
12. Develop the patient’s sense of uniqueness in terms of temperament, abilities, imagery,
  I-thou is preconceived, surprise delight
13. Use surplus reality, imagination, healing through synbolic actitivity
14. Be concrete, specific; address non-verbal behaviou. Counter vagueness and promote direct-ness.
15. Open to enchantment, synchronicity, mystery, being “helped,” guided, “teachings” transformation
16. Make work and psychotherapy “creative,” an opportunity for discovery, wonder.
17. Interweave moments of play and humor.

It’s still the way I work to help people heal and grow. Might “life coaches” do this?.


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