Strengths Focus for Self Help

A strategy for addressing problems derived from severe mental health disorder treatment.

Practically Social
7 min readDec 6, 2022


Zachari George, LCSW. 12/5/22. Photo of author.

Our brain is naturally predisposed to solve problems. We live in a world filled with them. They often become quite personal, interpersonal, job-related, or relationship-based, and we feel powerless to overcome them.

Eckhart Tolle often equates the brain to an old-fashioned typewriter. It functions as a survival tool, constantly clicking and clacking away. Buddhists have referred to it as “mind,” which pervasively interferes with how we attach, focus, and obsess over our problems. This all happens in a way that can rob us of something as simple as our breath or as complicated as our happiness.

Our brains keep us alive. Unfortunately, they also have relentless ways of attempting to solve problems which, in some instances, may work themselves out. We tend to stress over minutiae, power, and comparisons.

Our brains weigh all of this against the experience of our past. The memories, conclusions, failures, and solutions. We tend to forget we can characterize our failures as “feedback” whenever we choose. Instead, we tell ourselves that our ego can’t handle the lessons and that we certainly don’t have to repeat them if we just get the mastery. That’s when the machine’s function can go beyond its intended purpose. We lose ourselves in attempting to regain control and are anxious, depressed, and deprived of the light we possess.

The power of the brain also drives us to judge one another. We often categorize and evaluate the problems of others, and we think that they should do something about them. We can nag, cajole, or outright demand that others look at them from our perspective. It isn’t always helpful.

A hyper-focus on our problems isn’t only stressful; it’s detrimental. Getting lost in our heads pulls us away from the capacity we already have. There’s a way of regaining our energy and stamina if we can go inward instead of outward and focus on strengths. In many ways, it can help us pull away from the negative and take stock of our innate positive. This is a strengths focus.

What is a strengths focus, and how can we apply it?



Practically Social

Licensed clinical therapist and social worker. Host of the mildly edited Practically Social channel. Catalyst, deep diver, Dad.