International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Intentional Destabilization in the Process of Personal Growth and Wholeness

Lia Naor, MA

Department for Counseling and Human Development, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa

Abstract

This paper builds upon the realization that negative and positive experiences are dialectically codependent as inevitable aspects of living, and are dually important in the developmental process toward wholeness. It further rests on the premise that destabilizing and uncomfortable “negative” aspects and situations may serve as significant human resources in the process of growth and change. These principles, embedded within second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0), are introduced in an innovative model providinga theoretical basis for a unique therapeutic process involving intentional destabilization. In these processes, far from the comfort zones of clients and therapists, individuals are confronted with avoided or neglected aspects of the self (shadowin Jung’s terms) and the potential for change and growth is evoked. The conceptual model of such interventions is presented by case studies from the field of Nature Therapy, which shed light on the operational possibilities of implementing PP 2.0 principles in clinical interventions. These case studies demonstrate the exceptional potential of proactive facilitation of destabilizing situations to cultivate profound positive change and growth in therapy. The unique roles of the therapist as well as ethical issues related to such process are discussed.

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