Strength-based Approach

Figure 30.  Resiliency is a universal strength shared by our patients. Taken by Dr. Coley King of Venice Family Clinic.
A traditional medical encounter is often problem-focused. Patients present with a problem and your goal is to find the solution. However, a strength-based approach used frequently in social work and nursing focuses on what is right, as opposed to wrong, with the patient. It looks at each individual as someone who is capable of changing their own circumstances. It recognizes that every person has strengths and abilities and looks to see how those skills can be drawn out and enhanced. Strength- based approaches focus on the problem itself and solutions rather than blaming the person.42

A strength-based approach begins with a holistic focus that includes an emphasis on a person’s strengths and resources (internal and external) in the process of change. When a challenge presents itself, difficulties are acknowledged, and strengths are recognized and applied. This directs the narrative in a positive way, fostering the establishment of new problem-solving skills and capabilities.43