Much of psychology deals with fixing that which does not work. In order to do so, we often start with the problems.

Another approach is outlined by American psychologist Dr Christine Padesky. Her work to construct strengths and resistance to problems is interesting.

According to Padesky, the work with the strengths can be divided into four phases:

Find your strengths

Become aware of your strengths, known as well as unknown, for instance by carrying out a Strength profile. Have them confirmed by examining where you are successful – for instance:

  • Everyday things that you never skip
  • Positive experiences – what do you do that gives you energy?
  • Things you continue doing regardless of problems and obstacles
  • Things you enjoy doing and that you seek to do regularly
  • Your interests, e.g. hobbies, sports, voluntary work, etc.
  • Meaningful relations, e.g. friends, family, children, pets.

Find explanations for them – ask yourself:

  • How do I make it happen – how do I do these things?
  • How do I keep at it – what motivates me to continue?
  • Why do I continue doing these things?
  • Which strengths are helping me here?

Use your strengths in other situations

Try to discover how you can use your strengths in other situations.

  • Use the strengths
  • Motivate yourself as you do in your strong areas
  • Keep at it – and use the same means as you do in your strong areas


Keep trying – remember you can improve your entire life…

  • In other words, you rarely learn something at the first attempt
  • Practice makes perfect