Problem- vs. Growth-Oriented in Mental Issues

May 8, 2021 Cognitive Insights, Sociocultural Issues No Comments

This may lead to diametrically opposed ways of being and many misunderstandings.

As a mindset.

All of us continually encounter issues, from minor to life-size. This way, there is ample occasion to practice in seeing them either as problems or as invitations to grow.

Problems may lead more generally to stress; invitations to positive challenges ― no stress.

Yet, they are the same issues.

Outside ― inside

Looking at issues from the outside is more amenable to experiencing them as problems. One just wants to get rid of them.

By opening the packages, one may encounter fertile soil for growth.

The primary goal then may become very different.


This is one way – of which there are many – to probably understand somewhat better the difference between a more progressive and a more conservative mindset.

Being more growth-oriented, one is also more focused on future possibilities. New challenges bring new solutions. So, should we not progress towards these better goods?

Being more problem-oriented, one focuses on the issues that need to be solved now. The problems themselves may be perceived as originating from disrespect for what already has been solved in the past. So, should we not conserve the goods that we already have?


In Western medicine – and psychotherapy as its little sibling – the orientation is mostly an implicit mindset of problem-orientedness.

(This doesn’t necessarily denote political orientation.)

In many cases, this leads to symptomatic therapy also when it’s not ideal. [see: “Against Symptomatic Therapy”] The consequence may be a huge cost and little effectiveness. Moreover, people should know that this is a decision, not a necessity.

It should not be an implicit decision. It should be explicit as to patient consent. It may be, to the patient/client, the most important decision.

Problem vs. growth may lead to troubles in therapy

if people don’t appreciate the difference well enough. For instance, a patient/client may think that ‘attacking the problem’ is the goal of some therapy. With a caregiver having growth in mind, they talk past each other. A consequence may be that the client turns into a self-defeating orientation.

This may happen when one seeks psychotherapy in formal meditation.

AURELIS in this landscape

AURELIS is mainly growth-oriented, taking the problem (symptom, illness) as an entry for reaching the level where growth is possible. Diminishing a health-related problem is a side effect of this underlying endeavor.

AURELIS is also much broader than coaching.

It is a future-oriented mindset that – let’s hope so – is also rooted well enough in the past and the present.

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