When should we be starting to build up a Strengths Assessment, including within health and social care services? The answer is ‘immediately’, it should be a natural default position to how we connect with people and think about who they really are.
Searching for and using peoples strengths should be equally relevant when someone is acutely unwell or going through a period of crisis. It is not something that we just set aside a one-off time slot to complete; it is an on-going fluid conversation. The picture has to emerge over time if we are to have faith in it as an accurate positive picture of personal resources.
It requires a different mindset of practitioners working with clients/patients/service users. Medical approaches focus on the issue of identifying the diagnosis, as a descriptor of problems. It requires degrees of self-disclosure in order to engage a stronger therapeutic relationship.
Paperwork has a place for prompting and capturing the detail; but bureaucracy has no place in a picture of positive practice. We are ultimately helping people to build a positive picture of themselves, and of the resources they can personally apply to exert more control over their own experiences.
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“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” [Giorgio Armani].