The research team of AR Mahrer, MV White, MT Howard reported in the Journal of Psychotherapy in Private Practive Source found that the expression of feelings in a therapy session and direct confrontation of underlying increased client change events.
Their work contrary to the more passive model of traditional therapy suggest for change to occur the therapy sessions need to become a more active and expressive experience vs. a talk and insight driven one.
Their world added support to the learning of life skills as found in the published research of Corriere and his co-workers who developed the concept of Psychological Fitness and coaching methods for life. Corriere and his colleagues went further by asking what model should direct the learning of life skills. Their found that the inner reference of performing at one’s best was the ideal self-anchoring model. Instead of focusing on what a person was doing wrong, the question could be asked by professional, peer or friend, “are you performing at y0ur best?”
This line of thinking supported the work of Abram Maslow, Anthropological Studies of the Senoi, and more recently the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
The classic work of Abram Maslow is built around his concept of self-actualization. What most people do not understand about self-actualization is that it requires WORK.
Self-actualization is defined as “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.” Citation Maslow theorized that contrary to the current “pathology model” where a person’s job was to gain insight and overcome what was deficient it was far more beneficial to focus on moving a person forward to reach for his or her highest potential.
Maslow and Corriere’s work was later support by the “flow” research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is the experience a person has when they master a skill and experience a positive self-reinforcing sense of performing a task effortless.
Finally the anthropological study of the Senoi of Malaysia found that the Senoi of a had a similar focus of taking action and increased expression in their dreams. They learned dream skills to be their best in their dreams.
Each of these influences focus on a positive sense of self, self-directed living, and learning skills. Feeling good was determined sense of well-being driven by competence.
BOOKS: These research findings were later expanded in three books: Psychological Fitness; Going Sane; Life Zones. These books argue that people who have developed life skills feel and perform better than those who do not possess the same skills. When a person does not have basic life skills they manifest what traditional psychology refers to as symptoms. Symptoms are directly reflective of a lack of skills. What is troubling for a person is that given the same situation with the same skills they repeat unproductive behavior. The good news is that with new life skills given the same situation they change their behavior and derive desired outcomes.