ABT vs DBT
July 19, 2012 by
Dr. Kathy Cramer
When you decrease your focus on what is wrong (deficit-based thinking) and increase your focus on what is right (Asset-Based Thinking), you build enthusiasm and energy, strengthen relationships, and move people and productivity to the next level.
Deficit-Based Thinking is a defense mechanism to the negative side of life’s impediments and problems. It is an anxiety that puts us “on guard,” robs us of confidence, hope, and deprives us of productivity and pleasure.
Under dire circumstances DBT protects us, but for the most of us it has become an easy addiction that dominates our way of thinking. A “steady diet” of DBT leads to starvation, a depletion in energy, creating suspicion that trouble, problems and disappointment lurk around every corner.
DBT fuels our insecurity, clouds our perceptions, blinds us to possibilities and limits our options. Asset-Based Thinking is based on direct, systematic observation into how a growing minority of highly effective, satisfied people think, feel and act. ABT takes the spin of “positive thinking” to a whole new level.
While positive thinking calls for a positive attitude about life and the future, Asset-Based Thinking calls for positive action and traction in the present moment.
ABT puts the power of personal, interpersonal and situational assets in your hands so you can make progress and create the future you most desire.
Stress bombards us from all directions. It comes at us in a never-ending array of shapes and sizes. Whether it comes from life-shattering adversity or the constant pressure brought on by today’s frenetic 24/7 pace – there is no escaping the experience of stress.
The key to making certain that stress is an ally that works for you (and not an enemy that works against you) is Asset-Based Thinking. In this Introduction, readers are shown how stressful experiences – from major to minor in scale – can actually build optimism and resilience rather than fuel anxiety and despair.
Reaping the benefits of stress is possible when you learn to choose how you think about stressful situations. When you choose to view stress from the Asset-Based Thinking perspective you zero in on what is useful, worthwhile – even valuable – about the situation. You ask yourself questions such as, “What does this stressful situation make possible? How could I benefit? How could others benefit?” Posing ABT questions yields a glimpse into the secondary gains associated with any major change or setback and provides a glimmer of hope. For example:
- Maybe losing your job could give you the opportunity to revisit a dream you gave up or imagine a path to reshape your career.
- Maybe delaying retirement will keep you actively involved and mentally more alert than you would be if you had fewer responsibilities
- Maybe financial troubles could provide opportunities to engage the whole family in learning how to earn, invest and spend money more wisely then ever before.
It is out of these initial answers to ABT questions that intelligent optimism about a better future is born. Once you cultivate the point of view that “something good can come of this – if I pursue the good
”, you begin to believe in yourself and your power to influence how things turn out. Herein lie the seeds of resilience.