What is it I'm asking you to do? Take a moment and visualize a clinical situation. An adolescent client (girl) presents to you with difficulty sleeping, an irritable mood, low energy, and declining grades over the past several months. You discover that she recently quit the tennis team (which she used to enjoy) and has lost weight. In session she described thoughts of suicide (with no specific plan or attempts to harm herself), reported an increased use of alcohol and marijuana (since she and her boyfriend broke up) and feels that she is not able to bounce back the way that she had done in the past. Following the diagnostic criteria outlined within the DSM, the girl is diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and begins antidepressant medication (Fluoxetine through the acute phase) along with CBT focused psychotherapy. Which is delivered with a reported relapse rate of 70 percent after five years. Question... how does that diagnosis sit with you?

Now look at the scenario from a slightly different perspective. In your first session with the adolescent client (girl) you succeed in building a solid connection and validate not only a need to change, but also her desire to change. This is huge, as someone has shown her a glimpse down an inspired path filled with promise and opportunity (i.e. the GOOD). The client continues on to describe a goal she is targeting (in vibrant detail), and celebrates the inevitability of that goal being realized. The session ends with a display of heartfelt gratitude as the client leaves your office with an absolute feeling of empowerment. On her way home she stops at the grocery store (to pick up dinner) and notices a couple holding hands/laughing and says to herself, "isn't that cool –– what a cool couple –– I'm so happy for them", and can actually feel the love that flows between the couple, herself and the people around them in the store. It is a precious moment.  She continues on with her shopping, pauses to help a baby-ladened mom maneuver through the checkout line, and arrives home feeling exceptionally good about everything that is unfolding. Question... where do you think this client will be in five years?

Join me in moving forward. I am launching a new group with the goal of refining an approach/modality that assists clients transition to an enhanced state of being, or more simply put, a better way of living. In some ways the approach builds off the foundations of Positive Psychology, wherein the goal is to foster positive attitudes toward one's subjective thoughts, feelings and actions; while minimizing pathological thoughts that arise from a more traditional clinical mindset (i.e. focusing on the diagnosis/problem). The format is closed (confidential), a hybrid (combination of online and face to face interaction), and will run 90 days. The group objective centers on helping each other transition a desire into a tangible reality. The topics covered through the forum will cycle through discussions around the unlimited nature of the human spirit, positive affect (energy), resilience (faith) and the collective approach to optimizing results (the 1% effect). The cost of the program is $250 (which essentially covers the cost of the book, a t-shirt {with or without sleeves}, and one version of a personalized vision board).

What will you take away from the experience? That is based on you (and your involvement). There is a new generation of interventions rolling out that target enhancing levels of positive affect and strengthening resilience. We will take a look at some of these, jointly determine if they hold value for our group, and if so, lock down a way to integrate them into the process – TOGETHER. Which highlights an interesting fact. Positive Psychology is arguably the fastest growing theoretical approach that we as practitioners have to draw from (so it would seem smart to get a handle on this). Yet the underlying principles date back thousands of years. If that statement rings true to you, then you already know that we ALL have a role to play in translating the wisdom of the past, into the insight of the present. Our group offers that opportunity. And besides, 'Skinny Timm' has gone missing. My goal for this session is to lose 25 pounds, while increasing my max on the bench to 455 lbs. That's lifting 227% of my body weight, an incredible fete for an 18 year old, and virtually impossible for a 53 year old. But then again, I'm not planning on realizing that goal on my own. We will be holding a Q&A for interested participants right after the holidays. CLICK HERE to reserve a seat.