I know my deficits. What are my strengths?
When I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of positive reinforcement. Most of the leadership in my family was commenting on the negative behavior and challenging symptoms of my struggle to mitigate my own stress and anxiety. My maladaptive coping skills led to a serious love-affair with cocaine and vodka, which in turn created a lot of personal and professional wreckage.
When the dust settled, 17 years ago, I ended up in AA, which I am eternally grateful for. It was “slowbriety” for me in the beginning but fast forward to today and I’m now a coach for individuals and families facing addiction and recovery.
The cumulative experience of my personal recovery and professional career has led me to acknowledge that a lot of what people focused on in AA was based in avoidance, like avoiding old friends and old places, don’t do this and don’t do that, etc. My whole recovery life reflected this notion of harm avoidance and pleasure seeking. What I really wanted to know was how do I parlay all my recovery capital, to create a life of abundance, not just sobriety. This has led me to, as a coach, wanting to honor everything that someone has been through, I want to look at all the benefits of all the experiences including the drug use, I want to know about what wisdom comes out of life, even a life that on the surface is dark and painful and seemingly so negative.
Defining Asset-Based Personal Development
Asset-Based Personal Development is an approach that works so great when coaching young men who are struggling to parlay their recovery capital.
Whereas needs-based personal development emphasizes deficits and looks to outside agencies for resources, asset-based personal development Launchpad Colorado focuses on honing and leveraging existing strengths within the workshop participant. Related to tenets of empowerment, we postulate that solutions to personal problems already exist within a person’s assets.
Principles that guide ABPD include:
– Everyone has gifts: Each person in a family has something to contribute.
– Relationships build a family: People must be connected in order for sustainable personal development to take place.
– Leaders involve others: Personal development is strongest when it involves a broad base of personal & family action.
– People care: Challenge notions of “apathy” by listening to people’s interests.
– Listen: Decisions should come from conversations where people are heard.
– Ask: Asking for ideas is more sustainable than giving solutions.
– Inside-out organization: Launchpad Colorado participants are in control.
– Institutions serve the person: Institutional leaders (like those who coach our participants) should create opportunities for personal involvement, then “step back.
A Time to Shift Our Thinking
As leaders in the behavioral health field, we get to choose our focus. What we focus on expands just like it does for those we are “helping”. Let’s choose to downplay the pathology a bit and intentionally focus on the strengths our clients possess.
People aren’t looking for a diagnosis, they’re looking for a connection, with us and themselves.
For more information about how I help young men find their purpose, check out the website: Launchpad Colorado.
How to Contact 1 Method Center
To speak with a counselor at 1 Method Center to learn more about our program call 1-800-270-1389.