I work in a profession where literally the first question we ask is along the lines of “Tell me your problems…”
It is seldom that blunt. Typically, it is more of a “What brings you here?” or “What would you like to work on?” No wonder nobody wants to see us counselors. Right from the beginning, the conversation’s focus is on your issues. Skip the introduction. Forget the small talk. Let’s get into the deep shit.
When I meet my clients for the first time, I warn them that I do things differently than most counselors. Among those things is my approach. Rather than hone in on your problems, I utilize motivational interviewing and a solution-focused counseling. I still need to know your problems. Instead of exploring those problems and what brought them on for weeks and weeks, I assist my clients in using a combination of their strengths and problem solving skills to overcome them.
That is why when I saw the infographic below I nearly pooed myself a little.
To say the least, I was excited. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This one spoke volumes. It demonstrated a shift in the zeitgeist. Finally, other professionals were thinking similarly and focusing on positive attributes. For shits and giggles, I conducted a quick Google search for “green flags.” A plethora of articles, blog posts, charts, and pictures popped up. This tickled my fancy.
In a world where we highlight the red flags, we oft neglect the green flags. Rather than strive towards betterment and a healthy well-being, we avoid the triggers and bad feelings. It is so important to remember what healthy looks like. Of course, those green flags will differ from person to person and from one area of your well-being to another. However, keeping that healthy vision in mind gives you something to strive for.
Also, as these green flags appear in your life, it acts as a guide. It shows you that you are on the right path. Like lanterns on a trail, each one gives you a little more light.
Ultimately, green flags help avoid red flags and keep us from waving the white flag.
-The Caring Counselor