Strength-Based Approach (A guide)

This blog explains in detail the strengths-based approach, its uses, its principles, and so forth.

There is a lot more to learn about a strength-based approach in this blog, so let’s not delay further and take a start from the definition of a strength-based approach.

What is a Strength-Based Approach?

Strength-based strategies concentrate on the innate abilities of people, communities, associations, and organizations, and apply personal resources to promote healing and empowerment.

Essentially, the emphasis on health and well-being is to follow an asset-based strategy that seeks to encourage the positive.

What is a Strengths-Based Practice?

Strength-based treatment is a collaborative mechanism between the individual assisted by the services and those helping them, allowing them to work together to evaluate the result that draws on the strengths and abilities of the client.

As such, it is primarily concerned with the nature of the partnership that develops between those supporting and being helped, as well as with the factors that the individual seeking help brings to the process (Duncan and Hubble, 2000).

Operating collaboratively creates an incentive for people to be co-producers of services and not merely recipients of such services (Morgan and Ziglio, 2007).

Some researchers have criticized strength-based approaches, arguing that they are not, in fact, innovative or distinct from many other conventional approaches (McMillen, Morris and Sherraden, 2004) and are not focused on proof of effectiveness (Staudt, Howard, and Drake, 2001).

Indeed, as interest has grown from this perspective, members of different disciplines in the sector are seeking more positive approaches and using different words to describe them.

Mental health, for example, has a clear emphasis on rehabilitation and positive psychology – an inherently strength-based perspective (Petersen and Seligman, 2004).

In community growth, the term ‘asset-based’ is used to describe neighborhoods as areas of opportunity rather than areas of lack (Kretzmann and McKnight 1993).

Preventive clinicians use terms such as ‘resilience’ to characterize an individual’s ability to work well and accomplish goals through overbearing tension or difficulties.

For professionals, these distinctions in definitions can often cause confusion and misunderstandings.

Indeed, even if people realize the approach, it does not mean that they will necessarily feel happy or confident to apply it in practice.

Rapp, Saleebey, and Sullivan (2008) propose six criteria for determining what constitutes a strengths-based strategy.

Practitioners may want to use the following list to determine their own activity. 

The standards shall include:

  1. Goal orientation: Strength-based practice is goal-oriented. The core and most important aspect of any strategy is the degree to which people themselves set goals that they would like to accomplish in their lives. 
  2. Strengths assessment: the primary emphasis is not on challenges or deficits, and the person is encouraged to consider the inherent tools at their disposal that they can use to overcome any challenge or condition. 
  3. Environmental resources: Strengths advocates claim that there are people, organizations, organizations, and institutions in every community that have something to offer, that others may find useful, and that it may be the task of the practitioner to provide ties to these resources.
  4. Explicit methods are used for identifying the client and environmental strengths for goal attainment: Such approaches would be different for each strength-based strategy. For example, in solution-focused counseling participants will be encouraged to set goals before weaknesses are established, while in strength-based case management, patients will undergo a detailed ‘performance assessment.’ 
  5. The relationship is hope-inducing: a strength-based approach is designed to increase the client’s hopefulness. Furthermore, hope can be realized through a strengthened relationship with people, communities, and cultures. 
  6. Significant choice: Strength advocates emphasize a collective approach in which individuals are experts in their own lives, and the role of practitioners is to increase and clarify choices and empower people to act independently and make educated decisions.

Principles of the Strength-Based Approach

There are 9 core principles that serve as the basis for a strength-based approach. 

  1. Everyone has a characteristic that allows him or her to grow and step along his or her path. These specific characteristics may be either: 
  1. Potentials 
  2. Reinforcements 
  3. Capacities
  4. What needs to receive focus or concentration becomes what we (or the client) strive for and eventually becomes an actuality. 
  5. Be vigilant about your vocabulary and your expression. Our language is creating our (and our client’s) reality. 
  6. Accept change, life and our world are ever-evolving; don’t resist it. 
  7. Support others as truly as you can. You’ll see that the relationships are deeper and more important. 
  8. The person or client is a story-teller with his own story. 
  9. Draw on what you learn and understand to dream of the future.
  10. Capacity building is multifaceted and hierarchical. Be versatile, please.
  11. Be very competitive. Be flexible and have variations in interest (Hammond, 2010)

When It’s Used

Someone with low self-esteem or with emotional problems stemming from an abusive relationship with a parent or spouse can benefit from strength-based therapy.

This includes people with serious mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, who can use strength-based treatment to boost trust and ease the burden of living with such a situation.

Strength-based counseling can be used as an intervention for people of all ages, couples, and families.

What to Look for in a Strength-Based Therapist

Strength-based therapy techniques may be implemented into various types of counseling and therapy.

Search for a trained, skilled psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, or other mental health professionals with strength-based therapy training.

In addition to seeking someone with an acceptable educational history, expertise, and constructive outlook, search for a therapist with whom you feel comfortable addressing personal issues.

Recommended Books

The following is a list of some good books on a strengths-based approach. These books are a great source of increasing knowledge.

Just click the book you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page form where you can access it.

What is an example of a strength-based approach?

Someone talked about learning to ride a bike, aged 43, is a great example of this step.

This characterized bravery, persistence, and a commitment to lifelong learning for them – and meaningless was the fact that many people learned to ride before they started school “(Strength-based Positive Coaching).

What are the aims of a strength-based approach?

The goal of the strengths-based strategy is to secure the dignity, stability, willingness to make decisions, and well-being of the person.

Who developed the strength based approach?

It was established formally by a University of Kansas team including Dennis Saleebey, Charles Rapp, and Anne Weick. Rapp wrote “The Strengths Model” in 1997, which focused on “amplifying the patient’s well part.”

What is a strength-based assessment?

Strength-based assessment is the evaluation of emotional and behavioral internal and external skills that strengthen one’s ability to build relationships, cope with stress, and ultimately enhance growth.

How do you identify client strengths?

Similarly, the way they impact a person ‘s existence will show otherwise unseen abilities.

A good way to help the strengths of a client spot is to ask questions about what they enjoy, what activities they are gravitating toward, and when they are happier.

The replies point generally to their abilities.

What is strength-based counseling?

Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that relies primarily on the intrinsic abilities and resourcefulness, and less on flaws, faults, and shortcomings.

This blog explained in detail the concept of a strength-based approach.

If you have any questions or queries regarding this blog, let us know through your comments in the comments section. We will be glad to assist you.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

References 

Strengths-based approaches for working with individuals | Iriss

What is a Strength-Based Approach? (Incl. Activities and Examples) by Erika Stoerkel (2020)

Strength-Based Therapy | Psychology Today

Amazon.com 

Unsplash.com 

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