A new three principles article (actually, a chapter) appears in the Sixth Edition of the book, The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice, edited by Dennis Saleeby. Authored by Drs. Diane McMillen of Washburn University and Jack Pransky, chapter 13 is titled, “Exploring the True Nature of Internal Resilience: A View from the Inside-Out.” This is a very well-respected and widely read book in the social work field and we are honored to be part of it and have the opportunity to spread the word about the power of the three principles, especially in a field that makes a huge difference in people’s lives.
Here is an excerpt:
“…consider this: Might the outside-in, strengths-building approach also inadvertently carry with it the subtle message that people lack something that they need to gain from outside themselves? For example, if we assume people need life skills to make it in the world, are we also saying, subtly, that they presently lack something that we need to give them to succeed? Or, if a child grows up in an unhealthy environment, are we saying, subtly, that they won’t make it unless that environment improves or they find a supportive mentor who can guide them? At the very least this is food for thought…
“Looking at strengths from the inside-out offers a very different perspective. Here we begin with the premise, or knowing, that everyone at their core, at their essence, within their soul, is pure “health,” pure love, has pure peace of mind and pure wisdom. In other words, at their essence people already are everything they are looking for. Everyone has the strength or natural capacity innately, built into the very fabric of their being, to rise above unhealthy circumstances and transcend their problems.
“If true, why do so many people walk around looking like they don’t have this state of “health?” What if the only reason is because they use their own thinking, inadvertently, to obscure this essence, to cover it up, so it appears hidden (Pransky, 2003)?
“How do we know this? Because when people’s minds calm down or their heads clear their mental health and wisdom is revealed. All we have to do is ask ourselves where we are or what we’re doing when we get our best ideas, and invariably we find it is when we are doing something where our mind relaxes. In other words, our essence is always present within us, but it becomes hidden when our own thinking obscures it. Yet, when our typical thinking loosens its grip, this natural capacity for health and well-being, with all its built-in traits, automatically and naturally rises to the surface, because it never went anywhere in the first place!…
“We assert that what people already have inside them is their greatest strength. People are capable of realizing this and seeing what gets in its way. To see people this way offers automatic hope for all. When people gain this understanding they become free from the prison of their own minds and their well-being and wisdom are unveiled and begin to guide them through life. With this realization an individual’s strength becomes illuminated and seems to magnify. It begins to affect others around him or her. It ripples out to affect family and friends, then ripples further to affect organizations and communities. Hence, change happens from the inside-out. When practitioners in the fields of social work, human services, prevention and resiliency come to understand what it truly means to see and work from the inside-out, limitless potential arises. The possibilities for individual, community and societal change rise to a higher level…”
The citing is:
Pransky, J. & McMillen, D.P. (2013). “Exploring the true nature of internal resilience: A view from the inside-out” in Saleeby, D. [Ed.].The strengths perspective in social work practice, sixth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. (235-254).
A further note: I also just received the proof for an article by Dr. Tom Kelley and myself accepted for publication in the Journal for Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment, titled, “Principles for Realizing Resilience: A New View of Trauma and Inner Resilience.” Special thanks to Kathy Marshall for her important suggestions. I will keep you posted when it officially becomes published.
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