Positive Psychotherapy is based on a psychodynamic concept with a humanistic conception of man and a transcultural approach. It is resource-oriented and conflict-centered. It has been developed by Prof. Nossrat Peseschkian and co-workers since 1968. Positive Psychotherapy belongs to the psychodyamic methods on one side, and to the humanistic psychotherapies on the other side.
The word „positive" in the context of Positive Psychotherapy is derived from the latin word “Positum”, which means what is factual and given. Positive Psychotherapy has an original approach: it uses a set of basic concepts that are phrased in every-day language so that they can be easily understood by both therapist and patient. These basic concepts provide a framework for the psychotherapeutic process and can be used to promote communication between different psychotherapeutic models.
Positive Psychotherapy is based on the conviction that all men are intrinsically good and that they have two basic capabilities: the capacity to love and he capacity to know. Conflicts are interpreted as challenges to the development of these capacities. From this premise, many innovative therapeutic concepts and techniques have been developed.
The Balance Model: Human life takes places and can be described in four modes: body/senses, achievement, contact, and future/fantasy. In conflicts, every person develops a preference for dealing with the problems that arise. Example: The father reacts by escaping to his work (achievement); the mother reacts by withdrawing, and hence by avoiding social contact (contact); the child reacts with physical complaints (body).
Stories, wisdoms, transcultural examples: Stories, wisdoms and examples from other cultures are used as respectful mediators between therapist and patient, encouragement for using fantasy in conflict resolution, and mnemonic aid for future situations. Example: an oriental who comes home relaxes right in the center of noise and chatter of all his family members and neighbours; whereas a westerner rather seeks to relax alone and in a quiet environment.
Due to its accessibility, Positive Psychotherapy has also been successfully applied to education and training. It is now widely spread across the world: it has been introduced in more than 70 countries and territories; institutions have been established in different countries and the major books have been translated into more than 23 languages.
Three Basic Principles of Positive Psychotherapy
The Principle of Hope
The Principle of Balance
The Principle of Consultation