METHODS USED TO ARTICULATE POSITIVE FEELINGS & STRENGTHS


    It might be helpful to explain that the outline shown at the bottom of this page only shows the two primary components of the methodology underlying this particular process for articulating a more positive self-identity. The two components are (1) Recognizing some of your more positive feelings that have occurred in your past, and (2) Recognizing and Articulating Strengths that are, or were, related to those earlier feelings. 

    Some of the methods that have been developed were first initiated years ago by Bernard Haldane. These methods were refined and organized under the title of the DEPENDABLE STRENGTHS ARTICULATION PROCESS (DSAP) which started with the recall of several Good Experiences (GE s). GE s have clear-cut criteria for deciding whether or not they can be called Good Experiences. 

    A key portion of the DSAP process involved the sharing of GE s by four people. In this “quad activity," each person had a turn telling stories about a few of his/her Good Experiences (GE s). The other people in the small group listened and then told the story-teller what strengths they recognized in the actions of the story-teller when the GE s were taking place. Each participant in these quads later used the feedback from the other group members to articulate the strengths that the speaker wanted to claim as Dependable Strengths. This “quad activity” became the primary focus of the process described in the book, Articulating Strengths Together (AST) .  In both processes, the DSAP and the AST, participants tell stories about GE s while the other people in the quad who listen to the stories, eventually offer ideas about what strengths might have been demonstrated by the story teller during each  GE.

    Later, after the DSAP and AST methods had been used for several years, a more introspective, self-reflective method was developed, wherein individuals are guided to recognize positive feelings during the span of a typical day. These special moments of positive feelings during a typical day in the life of the practitioner, were called: Positive Moments (PM s), and they were somewhat like GE s, although smaller and more momentary that GE s. Through instructions and guidelines recommended in the LOG INSTRUCTIONS, individuals were encouraged to reflect on their personal qualities, or what might be called “Subjective Strengths,” which influenced or caused the good feelings experienced by the individual. The basic idea in this theoretical framework is that a person feels good when that person does something, or enables something to happen, that is valued by that person. The body of the person registers an emotional uplift when a good thing happened that was initiated or influenced by that person. After a person becomes more sensitive to when they are feeling good, and can spot some of the patterns of causation of why they feel good, that person can articulate his or her subjective strengths. These subjective strengths are special to the person, because they represent personal  control and inner-directed capability.

    A third way of articulating personal strengths is to use a process of differentiating among acquaintances in your life, and articulating “positive personal constructs” that you use to make those distinctions. The basic definitions of terms like “personal constructs” and differentiating among people, were orginally developed by George Kelly who published The Psychology of Personal Constructs in 1955. He developed a process for eliciting these personal constructs, which he called The RepertoryTest. The instrument called the ELICITING POSITIVE PERSONAL CONSTRUCTS (EPPC) uses some of the basic ideas found in The Reportory Test, which was  created by George Kelly.

    The outline of methods used to articulate positive feelings and words to describe subjective strengths is shown below. Please be warned that the underlined words or phrases in the outline do not mean that they are linked to further elaborations. There are no links in the outline shown below.

     An Outline of Methods 

Recognizing and Articulating Positive Feelings;    

The DSAP and AST Method:

         Identify Good Experiences, using guidelines in Step 1 of AST Packet.

 The LOG Instructions for noticing Positive Moments

         Notice and record moments of feeling positive during the day;

 

Recognizing and Articulating Strengths related to Good Feelings;

The DSAP and AST Method:

          Have listeners in quads share their suggestions for possible strengths they recognized when    listening to the person’s stories about Good Experiences


 The LOG Instructions for articulating strengths using feelings from Positive Moments;                           

          This is an analytic introspective process using experiences of positive moments.

 

Using the EPPC Exercise for Eliciting Positive Personal Constructs;

          This exercise elicits positive personal constructs by differentiating among acquaintances of the person doing the exercise.