“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Appreciative Inquiry is a theory of change that is used in parenting, marriage as well as lots of businesses and organizations. Unlike theories of strategic planning that focus on correcting faults, Appreciative Inquiry looks towards what is best about what already exists.
It is important in marriage counselling where couples have forgotten how to give attention, affection and approval. And it is important in simple neighbourliness and parenting as well as in teaching.
Couples have found that they grow in their relationships more truthfully in a way that problem-correcting counselling does not permit. Venting hurts is most often a rehearsal for the next conflict or problem. Appreciative Inquiry is a positive rehearsal for positive change.
Here are some questions I typically ask my couple clients to help them focus on what is true, noble and right in their partnership.
Note: this is not positive thinking as in ignoring life’s problems; it is upward focusing about the problems. It is solution focused rather than blame / responsibility focused.