Principles of strength-based recovery

By developing and encouraging creative abilities, the strength-based recovery model enables people with mental illness or addiction to learn, grow, and gain confidence.

By expanding client abilities of communication and socialisation, this model helps prevent of relapse of mental illness or addiction, increases the ability to join the workforce, and maintains good family functioning.

The six principles of our strength-based recovery model are:

  1. Focus is on the person’s strengths, not pathology, symptoms, weaknesses, problems or deficits. Focusing on problems at best restores a person to the status quo. Developing their strengths and encouraging their aspirations leads to growth and accomplishments. Another benefit of focusing on strengths is that one is more likely to uncover the uniqueness of an individual than if one focuses on their deficits, which may be common to a large group of similarly disabled.
  2. Social interactions within the community is viewed as an source of support, not as an obstacle to working with clients. The wider community is the foundation of mental health. There are far more naturally occurring resources than those that can be provided by mental health teams. The emphasis is on engaging people in existing, normal services, as opposed to creating services for use only by a disabled group.
  3. Interventions are based on the principle of clients’ self-determination. Nothing is done without the client’s approval.  The client is the director and as such has the right to make decisions that succeed—or mistakes to learn from.
  4. The case manager/client relationship is primary and essential. They need to be there beside the client when the going gets tough. People need someone to confide in, to share their joys and sorrows.
  5. Assertive outreach is the preferred mode of intervention. It is preferable to engage with the client in the park, their home, or a café, than to see them in an office. Case managers learn more about their clients when they make an effort to engage in the context of their environment.
  6. People with serious mental illness or addiction continue to grow, to learn and to change.

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