When I became acquainted with Well-Being Therapy, I learned about the comprehensive model of mental health that it’s based on. Carol Ryff developed a scale of six dimensions for measuring a person’s functionality and tested it extensively through interviews and clinical observations.
She called this a model of psychological flexibility, though I prefer to think of it as adaptability. If you function well in all six of these ways, I think you’re well equipped to respond to the flow of change in life without losing your balance for very long.
- Environmental Mastery: You feel competent in managing everyday life and can take advantage of new opportunities. You can organize your life, work and home situations to match your needs and values.
- Personal Growth: You see yourself as growing and improving over time and feel you’re realizing your potential. You’re open to new experiences and feel that you’re continually developing as you respond to them.
- Purpose in Life: You have goals for your life and a sense of direction in working toward them. You have beliefs that support a sense of purpose in your own life and life generally.
- Autonomy: You’re independent and self-motivated. You decide what you want according to your own standards rather than by reacting to social pressure.
- Self-acceptance: You feel good about who you are and accepting of both strengths and weaknesses. You feel positive about your life thus far.
- Positive relationships: You’re able to form warm and trusting relationships, and you’re capable of empathy, affection and intimacy. You understand the give and take of human relationships.