quinta-feira, 24 de fevereiro de 2011

What means «healthy people»?

Manfred Kets de Vries (INSEAD Professor)

«He who has health has hope,
and he who has hope has everything»
Arab proverb

When I first read Professor Manfred Kets de Vries books, about four years ago, a peace of text impressed me very much. The title was «The "Healthy" People» and, of course, he described what healthy people means. Why impressed me so much? Because I realized that I wasn't so healthy as I thought. Not in the usual meaning sense, of course. But take a look at his description, in four items:

1 - Healthy people have a stable sense of identity and a great capacity for reality testing. In addition, when dealing with the outside world, they have recourse to mature defense mechanisms. They take responsibility for their actions rather than blaming others for stepbacks. They are resourceful and have a strong sense of self-efficacy. They trust their own ability to control the events that affect their lives.

2 - Healthy people have an accurate perception of their body image and body functioning. They do not suffer from cognitive distortions that lead them to engage in self-destructive activities. They experience the full range of emotions, live intensively, and are passionate about what they do. Their sexuality is fulfilling; they know how to manage anxiety; they do not easily lose control; and they are not given to impulsive acts.

3 - Intimacy and reciprocity. Healthty people establish and cultivate relationships, know how to use help and advice, and maintain a support network. They have a sense of being a part of a larger group and obtain a great sense of satisfaction about the social context in which they live. They feel connected.
Healthy individuals also know how to deal with issues of dependency and separation. When growing up, they went through the process of individuation in a constructive manner, without suffering developmental arrest. (...) Their strong sense of identity gives them the strenght to deal with the setbacks and disappointments that are an inevitable part of the trajectory of life. They know how to handle depression and have a great capacity to work through loss.

4 - Healthy people do not interpret people and phenomena in categorical terms, good ou bad, black or white. (...) Above all, they maintain a positive outlook toward the world. Whatever the circumstances, they reframe experiences in a positive way; they are able to construct a positive view of the future and retain a great sense of hope of what is to come. Finally, healthy individuals have the capacity for self-observation and self-analysis and are willing to spend time on self-reflecion. (...)»

After reading this I started working on and making improvements. What means changing some behaviors preceded by self-observation an self-analysis.