The Asset Model Treatment Approach

I’m a fan of using the asset model as a treatment approach: where providers help us use our gifts, traits, and strengths to devise a treatment plan we have input on.

If you ask me, the secret to success in recovery is to be aware of who we are and what makes us tick or tock. To plan our “career”–which might simply be for some of us the career of living our life–around the identity that is salient for us.

I used to dress in trendy clothes: Antique Boutique pajama pants during the day. And I carried a Canal Jeans Swiss Army tote I’d dyed purple.

Most providers see that and they’re going to form a judgment. At least, the therapist at the day program didn’t comprehend that I could be buttoned-up on the job and a free spirit at night.

There was no understanding of “so, you’re a creative person–go work in a library instead.”

The title of the Flame CD is Outside the Lines from song lyrics about coloring outside the lines. The Dead Milkmen in the 1990s had a song about a Methodist coloring book and how you’d go to hell if you colored outside the lines of that book.

This sums up the traditional or conventional thinking that exists.

I wrote easily 11 years ago a news article titled “Self-Discovery Through Recovery.” Living in recovery gives us the chance to–it demands that we–celebrate ourselves as original works of art.

I’ll end here by saying that it’s an act of courage to tell others: “This is who I am; don’t pigeonhole me.”

If you color outside the lines, be proud of this.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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