Essay Example about Strengths-Based Model

Published: 2022-09-29
Essay Example about Strengths-Based Model
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1270 words
11 min read

Many practitioners often record their patients according to the problem-based model, and therefore, the main goal is to make sure that the patient's problem is always updated. Unfortunately, this model conditions the practitioner to focus on the problem the person with a disability has. Others tend to focus on what the individual is lacking. This model further magnifies the individual's disability in the mind of the practitioner or social worker. However, different service providers for those living with disabilities are slowly shifting to a better strength-based approach that aims at incorporating all stakeholders; that is, patients and family members as true partners in the act of providing care to those living with disabilities.

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The model also emphasizes on encouraging individual strengths and nurturing self-determination. Clients under this model are viewed as resourceful and meaningful to society. It is described as client-led whose primary focus is finding the strength in individuals that often provide solutions during a problem or a crisis. In the recent past, the model has provided a new approach in which service providers promote and identify competence, skills and knowledge capabilities that patients, families or other members of society can utilize to encourage growth, encourage recovery as well as maintain health, even during challenging moments.

This approach recognizes the important strengths that may exist while ensuring that the deficits are also acknowledged. From there, the model provides a plan through which the family's resources can be actively utilized to manage the problems that are associated with disability service provision. The model, therefore, helps overcome many limitations and challenges.

Nevertheless, the model is highly reliant on the theory of resiliency as its foundation. The theory focuses on the bringing out the positive factors in the individuals living with disabilities that eventually become the focus of change strategies that are designed to promote and enhance strengths (Nissen et al., 2005). The two - resiliency theory and the strength-based approach - are designed to help the service provider understand the patient and promote their development (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005; Zimmerman & Brenner, 2010).

The theory focuses its attention on the positive contextual as well as the individual and social variables that may interfere with or disrupt development which includes mental distress, poor health outcomes and problem behaviours. Fergus & Zimmerman (2005) describe these variables as promotive factors that operate contrary to the risk factors that help the patients overcome the effects of exposure to risk factors. The strength-based model also focuses on these promotive factors that are found in different individuals. Some of these promotive factors include self-esteem and self-efficacy which are also referred to as assets (Zimmerman, 2013).

A strength-based approach is an all-inclusive form of approach that believes in mutual partnership between all active participants that include patients, family members and the society. These participants often help in identifying the existing challenges or concerns and are actively involved in the decision-making process as well as promoting growth and development among those living with disabilities. This explains why some researchers refer to this model as a solution-focused approach which mainly focuses on family interventions (Gan and Ballantyne, 2016). Families have been identified as sources of sources of strength and resources with the ability to recover from difficult situations. For this reason, the strength-based model is one that focuses on strengths against the deficits, it is collaborative rather than hierarchical, it builds on resources as compared to expert opinion, aims at providing competencies and solutions as compared to focusing on what needs to be fixed while ensuring that more attention is given to whatever is working instead of focusing on what is not.

When people turn to experts for the purposes of solving a particular problem on behalf on another often denies the individuals facing the problem an opportunity to participate in finding the solution and taking control of the situation (McCashen, 2008). The strength-based model is not meant to deny individuals the experience of facing problems and challenges but instead provide a more dynamic approach that engages the whole person by taking into account the social and mental factors that influence care and treatment as compared to focusing on the problem itself.

The strength-based model is essential in the modern disability service provision system because it provides an alternative approach to the deficit-based model (Gottlieb, 2014). The model is different from the traditional problem-based model because it is designed to identify and bring out the assets, strengths and resources that an individual or a family may possess. The model keeps in mind that each individual is different from the other. Therefore, the individual needs are unique to that specific individual and the family. With this fact in mind, the model is able to provide a platform that helps the service providers to become more responsive to these unique needs of individual families. The model further empowers these families and individuals to address their own unique needs.

Over the last couple of years, the model has been embraced by different service-provision institutions. Unfortunately, the model has created an unexpected dilemma. As indicated, the model mainly focuses on the strengths that make up individuals as a starting point for change. However, the process of identifying and working with these strengths is rarely seen in most of these institutions. Many practitioners often claim to be working from an identifying-strengths perceptive but it rare to see institutions and practitioners working seriously on bringing out the values that make up the strength-based approach.

Institutions and practitioners need to appreciate the different benefits of employing the strength-based model in the provision of services as more and more people living with disabilities are encouraged to take control of their lives in sustainable and meaningful ways. The approach is designed in a manner that enables to work with problems experienced by an individual and resolve them. It does not intend to ignore these problems or difficulties. Instead, it identifies the positive aspects of an individual while identifying the strengths that provide a foundation for addressing the different challenges and difficulties.


The strength-based model focuses on building trust and functional relationships. It also aims at empowering individuals and their families to take charge of their lives even in the absence of experts. The approach provides a platform for people to work on mutually agreed goals in collaborative ways that involve all stakeholders. With the help of assets such as self-esteem, the model brings out personal resources of hope while providing motivation to induvial. Finally, the model aims at creating sustainable change because it is a learning model that is supported by experiential growth. This approach has been proven to yield some of the best outcomes in terms of service provision among individuals living with disabilities.


Fergus, S. and Zimmerman, M.A., 2005. Adolescent resilience: A framework for understanding healthy development in the face of risk. Annu. Rev. Public Health, 26, pp.399-419.

Gan, C. and Ballantyne, M., 2016. Brain injury family intervention for adolescents: A solution-focused approach. NeuroRehabilitation, 38(3), pp.231-241.

Gottlieb, L.N., 2014. CE: Strengths-based nursing. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 114(8), pp.24-32.

Hammond, W., 2010. Principles of strength-based practice. Calgary: Resiliency Initiatives.

McCashen, W., 2008. The Strengths Approach, Victoria: St. Luke's Innovative Resources.

Nissen, L.B., Mackin, J.R., Weller, J.M. and Tarte, J.M., 2005. Identifying strengths as fuel for change: A conceptual and theoretical framework for the Youth Competency Assessment. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 56(1), pp.1-15.

Rapp, C.A., 1998. The strengths model: Case management with people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. Oxford University Press.

Zimmerman, M.A. and Brenner, A.B., 2010. Resilience In adolescence: Overcoming neighborhood disadvantage.

Zimmerman, M.A., 2013. Resiliency theory: A strengths-based approach to research and practice for adolescent health.

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