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Affirming

Deciding between affirming and negating is necessary for psychological systems, so that one can choose between the incalculable possibilities of what one is able to want and what the environment offers in the way of opportunities. Thus, for centuries, judgments such as good/bad, right/wrong, beautiful/ugly have taken hold to deliver guidance about which thoughts, feelings and actions are to be considered appropriate. The psychological system is exposed to this distinction from the beginning (“You did this correctly, well, nicely!”) and internalises it. Therefore, we learn in our contacts with others which impulses are to be evaluated and how. Affirmation strengthens what is, negation reduces what is. This evaluation model is a form of socially legitimised aggression and with increasing age, it is also applied to oneself. Inner representations are formed which evaluate, judge, pursue, punish, reward, and confirm etc. It is important in the context of change and counselling that this form or orientation is a learned behaviour and can, therefore, also be changed. In addition, since it provides a significant contribution to stabilising the existence of the affirmed aspects and eliminating the negated aspects of the psyche, counselling must be focused on this guiding distinction and must help the client to exert influence (rather than merely using the distinction consciously or unconsciously).



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