Sunday, December 31, 2006

Strengths Based Approach

In my Master's program, the school I attended claimed to work from a Strengths-Based approach. What I didn't know for a full year and a half into the program was that they *didn't* work from a Strengths-Based approach. They focused, instead on people's deficiencies, problems, illnesses, and "areas for improvement". Not once did I hear any professor talk about a client's strengths. Not once did our writing assignments ask us to point out a client's assets. And not once did it come up in class discussions.

It wasn't until I enrolled in the class Community Mental Health Interventions that I learned what a true strengths-based approach was! Two books were key in teaching me what this approach was really all about. The Environment of Schizophrenia: Innovations in practice, policy, and communications by Richard Warner talks about how to use the strengths-based approach with psychotic disorders and The Strengths Model: Case Management with People Suffering from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness by Charles A Rapp discusses how to focus on an individual's strengths in the midst of mental illnesses of all types.

In addition, Dave talks about a strengths-based approach in his podcast Strengthscast.

Everyone deserves to have their strengths and assets pointed out to them and recognized by others. :)

15 comments:

Good said...

Hi, so what are the strengths of the professors that don't recognize the clients'? That they still have more to learn? ;-) Nice post!

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