What's your top 5?
Achiever, Connectedness, Empathy, Individualization, Input
How do you see them playing out in your life?
I see how each theme plays out in my daily life, especially as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I became increasingly aware of how I apply my strengths in my career after graduate school. It was interesting to see how the little things that I would do unconsciously came to the forefront of my awareness. I experience each one throughout the day in my interactions with clients, friends, family, and in ministry.
Achiever is definitely a great way to describe me as a whole. I believe that I am a highly motivated and hardworking individual. The need to have a productive day and “check” things off my list to feel accomplished certainly describes my approach to each day. I take on the busyness of the day with zeal and make it a goal to see how much I can achieve. This usually translates into an internal competition within myself to get the most out of what I am working toward. Connectedness shows through my private and professional life in the sense that I am a natural when it comes to networking. I love to bring people together for a common goal, project, or purpose. I apply this strength to bring my families together in session as well as to bring colleagues and friends together to achieve life goals. I actually find a certain level of satisfaction in watching synergy. Empathy is a big strength for me in my field. As a therapist, a primary role in my job is to empathize with the pain and struggles that my client has experienced throughout life. In many ways, empathy promotes healing and progress towards restoration. I also see how my strength of Individualization compliments my empathy. I can empathize with the pain of my client and use individualization to take a strategic approach in the next step in therapy. I seek out specific interventions that will best assist that person to move into the next phase of healing. This desire to learn new methods and seek unique treatment also leads into my final strength of Input. This one surprises me because I have always been an innately curious person but never knew the source of it. Input causes me to seek out random but often helpful information. I have found Input to create resourcefulness on the inside of me that lends itself to the benefit of my clients.
What's your favorite theme?
My favorite them is probably connectedness. I find that I have the most joy and satisfaction out of watching how I can intuitively put the right people or pieces together. I believe that it is a great marriage between my individualization and connectedness that makes this strength so impactful. The ability to step back and understand the greater picture and then identify strategic parts to bring the vision together is a great strength for me. I apply this skill in my approach to client planning, networking, and ministry. It’s a great skill for every area!
What's the one theme that "get's in your way"?
One theme that probably gets in the way the most often for me is Input. I often feel that I have an insatiable curiosity that has to be satisfied by reading, researching, and seeking information. This isn’t necessarily a bad skill to have but it can be distracting at time when I want to be more focused on a project or assignment. That curiosity to gather more information can stop me in my tracks. I manage to get back on track but not without using Wikipedia to answer my burning question!
How has knowing your top 5 empowered you to live a more authentic life?
The ability to know and apply my top 5 has allowed me to live more freely in who God created me to be and how I can use my strengths to fulfill the calling on my life. I find new ways to integrate my strengths into being a therapist and working with my clients and families. I believe that doing this allows me to be a more authentic and transparent therapist which also aids in the healing journey for my clients. I have also seen how my strengths give me a greater confidence in my daily decisions because I know who I am and what I was created to do best. I am primarily a relational person (3 of my strengths apply to relationship skills) followed by strategic skills. I enjoy living out what I was created to do and feel particularly blessed that my strengths fit so well into my line of work. Overall, I see how my strengths and awareness of my design gives me the opportunity to make strategic choices for my future and have this “best life”.
Ashley is an Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern working in the San Diego community with Lighthouse Psychological Services. For more information on Ashley go to: www.lighthousepsy.com or http://secretsfromthecouch.wordpress.com
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Strengths-based Development (SBD) is our passion, commitment and life. Team reCreate is devoted to work that creates transformation, meaning and purpose in the lives of those we serve. This space is meant for you to get to know us, learn more about Strengths and hear from others in this line of work. Thanks for being on this journey with us!