"Acknowledge problems, but focus on solutions": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.

04/07/21

"Acknowledge problems, but focus on solutions": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

There tends to be a strong emphasis these days on ‘positive thinking’ and optimism.

While there is much to be said for the benefits of such an approach, we also need to be aware of some of the dangers associated with it.

One is for problems to be swept under the carpet in our desire to focus on the positive elements of a situation and thereby de-emphasize the negative or problematic aspects.

What can be much more fruitful is to ensure that we acknowledge the problems we come across, but then adopt a positive approach by focusing on solutions. This is a matter of finding a constructive balance.

On the one hand, it is dangerous to ignore problems in some misguided sense of positivity, but on the other it can make problems worse if people allow concerns about such problems to predominate – that is, if they wallow in the negativity problems can produce.

Being positive about problem solving can give us the best of both worlds: we are not naively ignoring problems, but nor are we allowing their negativity to undermine us.

Indeed, such a positive approach to problem solving is an important basis for empowerment, for supporting other people in resolving their own difficulties.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.

His website is www.NeilThompson.info.

Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.

Paint on Face

Mind Manchester

Social Worker - Central West CMHT

Job of the week

Sign up for an informal interview for this role today

£34,373

SWT_SideAd1.png

Featured event

Social World Podcast

Podcast

29 Nov 2021

Instant access 

Featured jobs

Surrey County Council

Social Worker - Mental Health

Mind Manchester

Social Worker - South Mersey CMHT

IFSWButton.png

Most popular articles today

Almost 10,000 more foster families needed to keep children in their communities, charity says

Almost 10,000 more foster families needed to keep children in their communities, charity says

More than half a million people waiting for social care, report finds

More than half a million people waiting for social care, report finds

Developing networks and coming together as practitioners to tackle racism in social work

Developing networks and coming together as practitioners to tackle racism in social work

Social work must redesign and reimagine practice alongside people, Chief Social Worker says

Social work must redesign and reimagine practice alongside people, Chief Social Worker says

Sponsored Content

What's new today:

Supporting social work students with additional needs during their placement