Positive Psychotherapy, developed by Nossrat Peseschkian, is founded on the premise that human nature is intrinsically good and that each person possesses four specific abilities: mental, social, spiritual, and physical. This form of psychotherapy is part of the humanistic, psychodynamic, and transcultural approaches. By using multicultural stories and metaphors, clients are encouraged to view their own illnesses or issues in unique and more positive ways. The person is incorporated into the story and plays an active role in his or her own healing process. Positive Psychotherapy empowers people with the skills to achieve a sense of inner balance by relying on all of the resources he or she possesses through body, spirit, mind, and emotion. This interdisciplinary approach incorporates various forms of psychotherapy to aid a person in becoming his or her own therapist for his or her particular circumstances, experiences, and environment.
There are three main tenets of Positive Psychotherapy that must be addressed in order to achieve a positive outcome.
Rather than focusing on the eradication of a disruption, the client should first examine the disruption fully and decipher its positive or actual implications. The therapist works with the client in this capacity to help him or her gain awareness of the disruption's true purpose and to help him or her see it in a new perspective. For instance, depressive feelings are very disruptive, but they are often a true expression of internal or external conflicts and one's reaction to them. Additionally, anorexia nervosa may represent an identification with the inner hunger of deep yearning or a larger hunger that is global, rather than the action of surviving on very little nourishment. By this process, a client can see the function behind each manifestation.
Each person possesses his or her own set of coping mechanisms. If the coping mechanism is out of balance, illness and negative symptoms can arise. One must have complete harmony and evenness of application of all aspects of coping in order to maintain balance.
This principle states that being informed about a situation or issue must encompass five distinct steps: observation, inventory, situational support, verbalization, and development of goals.