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  • Raluca Ursica

The therapeutic tool I love and use the most.

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Hi, my name is Raluca Ursica and I am a Positive Psychotherapist, Counselling Psychologist, Clinical Supervisor, Trainer and Co-founder of the London Centre for Positive Psychotherapy.

Today I decided to write about the Balance Model in Positive Psychotherapy as this is one of the most versatile interventions you can use in assessments and people need to know about it.

The Balance Model is a psychotherapeutic tool specific to Positive Psychotherapy. It is based on the concept that all people no matter of their nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, live their lives in 4 areas: Body/Health, Achievement/ Work, Relationships and Spirituality/Fantasy/ Future. In the session we look at how we use our limited (100 points) energy in these 4 areas. We understand what area saps energy and which is the area that replenishes our energy (resource area).

The Balance Model is also used in case conceptualization. In my experience psychodynamic modalities have a loose way of conceptualising a case (compared to CBT, Systemic therapies, etc.). Using the Balance Model, we can determine in which area the Actual Conflict is (e.g. My client is going through a divorce – Relationship Area) and the way they used to cope with stress in the past, was to go the gym and care for their body (Body/Heath was the resource area). They don’t do it anymore because they don’t want to think about the marriage ending so they spend most of their time at work and neglect friends, family and themselves. In this case Achievement/Work area is the area they escape into and the problem with this is, it can lead to burnout.

These simple observations help us understand the client and what’s more important it helps the client have a general view of how their life looks like now.

The next step in therapy is to figure out together with the client, why is Work the area they escape into, why not Body (it has worked before). We look at the client’s primary and secondary capacities find the Basic Conflict (conditioning learned in childhood) and from there we understand the Inner Conflict – how this childhood pattern/conditioning is translated in their adult life.

The important part in the work with the Balance Model is that everybody is different. What is balance for me might not work for you, so keeping an open mind and being curious is key.

The Balance Model can also be used a simple way to check in with your clients after a break. It also helps them monitor their self-sabotaging behaviours (e.g. alcohol /drug use – escape into Fantasy area)

I could go on and on about the Balance Model and how versatile it is, but I will stop here. ☺️

If I made you curious and you want to know more about the Balance Model and Positive Psychotherapy, please visit our Online Foundation Course for more info.

See you soon.

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