The opportunity of focusing on the positive

Focusing on the positive may have a bit of superficial, look at the bright side of life ring to it, but in our contact with AEDP we have learned that there are a couple of ways in which focusing on the positive can cause profound changes: 1. By mirroring and giving some good truthful and specific feedback about the patient’s achievements, conquests, adaptive resilience and delightful interpersonal qualities, can cause a deep change in how patients view and experience themselves, in their internal and interpersonal experience of themselves and can heighten safety and trust in the therapeutic relationship. 2. Exploring and deepening glimmers of positive feelings and experiences may be important to open up new areas that people have been be out of contact with for years. The therapist can be quite active here and kind of “pull” the patient into this new space. “Look at this, just acknowledge, let’s just notice that this is there. let us just open the space for it… this is here, it’s really here so let us just make a room for it and stay on it for a while… let us feel it more, let us stay here a little bit longer this time and let us just notice what is happening while we feel it and stay on it” This may introduce true novelty and counter their usual anxious or depressive state of being and even allow experiences of healing change through these positive vitality affects. 3. Focusing on the positive can bring out to the open a remarkable space in patients with regard to a) Experiencing pleasure in their life b) Recognizing change and success c) Experiencing positive regard for themselves such as pride, confidence and strength what dramatically helps them to positively transform their internal narrative about themselves d) Experiencing positive feelings towards others such as love and safety. These are allowed and encouraged in AEDP to start in the present moment in the relationship with the therapist, and to continue coherently outdoors. e) Opening the internal emotional space to tolerate, regulate, stay in contact with and amplify internal positive experiences of the self (e.g. the capacity to receive praise and appreciation) f) Developing curiosity about themselves and their “unknown” resources. Marta Moreno & Hans Welling

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