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Three Good People: Strengths-Spotting Activity

Research in positive psychology has shown that people who know their strengths and use them daily tend to be happier, have better self-esteem, and are more likely to complete their goals. Strengths-spotting exercises are used to help people identify their strengths and the ways they use them.

Three Good People is a strengths-spotting exercise for teens and adults. This exercise asks clients to identify strengths in a fictional character, an inspiring person they know, and themselves. Recognizing strengths in others primes clients to begin thinking about their own strengths.

The Three Good People worksheet may be used with individuals or groups. After completing the activity, try asking follow-up questions such as:

  • What strengths do you share with the fictional character and the person you know?
  • What strengths do you possess that the others do not?
  • What is a strength of yours that you often overlook?
  • Is there an area of your life where you could better put your strengths to use?

For a list of strengths to help clients get started, check out the Strengths List worksheet.

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References

1. Carr, A., & Finnegan, L. (2015). The say ‘yes’ to life (SYTL) program: A positive psychology group intervention for depression. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 45(2), 109-118.

2. Lavy, S. (2020). A review of character strengths interventions in twenty-first-century schools: Their importance and how they can be fostered. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 15(2), 573-596.

3. Walsh, S., Cassidy, M., & Priebe, S. (2017). The application of positive psychotherapy in mental health care: A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(6), 638-651.

4. Yuen, E., Sadhu, J., Pfeffer, C., Sarvet, B., Daily, R. S., Dowben, J., ... & Stubbe, D. (2020). Accentuate the Positive: Strengths-Based Therapy for Adolescents. Adolescent Psychiatry, 10(3), 166-171.

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