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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Positive psychology challenges a common error of professional psychology regarding making diagnostic, treatment, and policy decisions primarily with regard to the deficiencies of the person instead of giving serious consideration to deficits and strengths of both the person and the environment. This mission may seem disheartening in that it requires greater rather than less cognitive complexity. Yet this multifaceted focus is crucial if two system concepts—whole person and behavior as a function of a person in interaction with an environment—are to be taken seriously. Practice and research that fall short of attending to this person–environment interaction do a disservice to remedial possibilities and personal integrity. We have divided this chapter into two parts. In the first part, we present enlightening concepts together with supporting research. In the second part, we apply the insights gained to clinical practice and research and make specific recommendations regarding each of the issues raised.

Keywords: balanced assessment, deindividuation, diagnosis, labeling, strengths

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