In human services, affirmations are genuine, honest statements that acknowledge the clients’ strengths. Such statements promote positive change by regarding the clients’ positive thoughts, behaviors, and qualities (DiClemente et al., 2017). There are at least three affirmations I would use with Mrs. Lopez based on the background provided. First, I would say, “You are a wonderful mother – you raised I wonderful daughter who cares about your health and emotional well-being.” This affirmation is designed to focus on Mrs. Lopez’s primary strength – her family. Mrs. Lopez appears to have emotional problems associated with the loss of her husband. Shifting the focus from her husband to her daughter may help her find a reason to live.
Second, I would say, “You demonstrate excellent decision-making skills in the past, which allow you to live a healthy and active life.” This affirmation is designed to remind the service receiver about her values. A person cannot live until 89 years of age without making good decisions about one’s own health. Thus, Mrs. Lopez’s health must have been valuable to her in the past. Reminding about this value can help the patient to return to a healthy lifestyle. Finally, I would say, “You are a loyal wife; your husband would want you to be happy even without his physical presence.” This affirmation would remind Mrs. Lopez that she can continue to please her husband even after his death by being happy. These three affirmations may help Mrs. Lopez to acknowledge her strengths and remind her about her values, which can promote positive change.
DiClemente, C. C., Corno, C. M., Graydon, M. M., Wiprovnick, A. E., & Knoblach, D. J. (2017). Motivational interviewing, enhancement, and brief interventions over the last decade: A review of reviews of efficacy and effectiveness. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(8), 862.
- Strength: The service user is responsible and conscious of her medical condition. She complies with the recommendations of the doctor. She spends much effort controlling her blood sugar, which demonstrates her determination to be healthy.
- Affirmation: You are demonstrating a great determination to stay healthy – your careful control over your blood sugar will help you live a healthy life.
- Strength: The service receiver has shown that he can take care of himself without the help of the adults. In other words, the fact that he is homeless does not confront his ability to socialize and earn money, even though the ways to earn money are illegal.
- Affirmation: You are demonstrating an explicit ability to take care of yourself, as you can both protect yourself physically and earn your living. I am sure that you will learn to take responsibility for your actions very soon, as you are a grown-up person in a teenager’s body.
- Strength: The service receiver is aware of her growing addiction and the reason for the addiction, even though her mind is constantly attacked by stress and intoxications. Moreover, the service receiver preserved her ability to take responsibility for herself and her family.
- Affirmation: You demonstrated an outstanding ability to stay self-aware about your current physical and emotional state despite the stress and increased alcohol use. This awareness will help to overcome the difficulties.
- Strength: The service receiver managed to stay physically active and exercise despite the changes in his body due to the natural aging process. He has enough motivation to live an active life even without a life partner. Moreover, the service receiver managed to preserve the relationships with his family despite living in an assisted living facility.
- Affirmation: You are demonstrating the motivation to stay healthy and physically active, which is a rare case at your age. Your strong relationships with your family will help you overcome any difficulties.
- Strength: Trudy is aware of her addiction to smoking and understands the reason for the habit. In other words, she understands that smoking is currently her only coping mechanism; however, she wants to quit smoking.
- Affirmation: You are demonstrating healthy awareness about your bad habit. You understand that smoking has become your personal space, and you will find some other thing of your own.
- Strength: The service receiver loves his wife and wants to take care of her with due diligence. Even though he tries to block his feelings due to the constant danger of death, he understands the feelings of his wife.
- Affirmation: You are demonstrating increased care and attention to your family despite the need to block the feeling of danger every day at work. Your desire to care for your family will help in the future.