The Strengths Revolution’ weekly podcast show was launched on 22nd April 2014. Just go into iTunes Store, click the ‘Podcast’ link on the top menu, then put ‘The Strengths Revolution’ into the search box.

Listen, subscribe, and add a review if you feel able to. Remember… listening, downloading or subscribing to the show is FREE!

'Working with Strengths' was published in May 2014 as a comprehensive resource for reviewing the literature and reflecting on strengths-based practice as applied to people in contact with services, as well as the strengths-focused development of practitioners, teams and organisations. It draws on the wider business literature as well as health and social care references to broaden the applicability of the ideas.

'Risk Decision-Making' was published in 2013 to help shift the focus from a tick-box culture to the realities of what good practice should be about. The manual and cd-rom provide the resources that should engage senior management in organisations, as well as the practitioners and multidisciplinary teams.

June 2007 saw the publication of the Working With Risk Trainers Manual and Practitioner Manual through Pavilion Publishing. The Trainers Manual provides a flexible two-day training programme, with the option of using any of the individual sessions as stand-alone training resources. The Practitioner Manual provides a set of practice-based risk tools with supporting guidance on how and when to use each. These materials also aim to discuss some of the wider risk issues and identify a key part of current research and literature. The practice-based tools are also supported by completed case examples.

To make contact either send me a message via the 'Contact Me' form or (if it's urgent) you can call me on 07733 105264.

Practice Based Evidence commenced business in October 2001. Promoting the value of the messages from service users, carers and practitioners experiences. These are often marginalised by the emphasis placed on research.


  • The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support
    The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support

    Jointly written by Practice Based Evidence & ARW, this resource is of importance to everyone in mental health, social care and learning disability services, including primary care.

  • Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice
    Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice

    Primarily aimed at developing assertive outreach, but its focus on a strengths approach is applicable to all parts of the mental health system.


What makes positive risk-taking a reality in dementia services?

Steve Morgan (Practice Based Evidence) and Nick Andrews (Practice Development Officer in Swansea University) got together to ponder this particular question in response to a Journal for Mental Health Training, Education and Practice journal request, and the following link will take you to the unpublished first draft of the ideas.

Health and social care services have experienced a decade or more of messages to become more person-centred, to listen more to people and deliver on the priorities they want for themselves. This requires a fundamentally positive mindset from professionals and care workers, and a willingness to take some risks. How will this apply to delivering dementia services, where almost all of the initial impressions are of deficits, disability and disadvantage? The following link offers some practical tips on reflecting from a basis of values, seeing the person but focusing on rights and relationships, and working from a position of the individual’s strengths. All of these underpin a ‘positive risk-taking’ approach to helping people make decisions for themselves, or to make decisions for people in their best interests.

PDF: Positive risk-taking and dementia


Tribute to Steve Onyett

This post was originally drafted in response to a request from the Centre for Mental Health and appears on their site at the following link:

Steve OnyettIt’s 1992, I’m submitting the manuscript for the publication of my first book. Anticipation is tinged with anxiety, an anonymous reviewer holds the power to launch or terminate my fledgling writing career. All fears immediately recede as I receive pages of positive comment and constructive critique. Many references are made to a newly published book ‘Case Management in Mental Health’ (he beat me to that title by 6 months) give away the source of the review. Steve never did anonymity very well!

Fast-forward 22 years through my publications CV and I realize my latest book would benefit from an appropriate foreword from a recognized expert. They say ‘when you want something doing ask a busy person’, that should have been coined about Steve Onyett as he agreed unequivocally and produced a pitch perfect reflection of the book. Who else could get royalty and the act of farting into a mental health textbook with such skill?

In 2009, while facilitating a team development workshop, I received two of the finest compliments I have ever received. Two senior and experienced practitioners enthusiastically told me how influential my book had been on their work. As they elaborate further it becomes clear to me they are talking about ‘Teamworking’, published by Steve in 2003. As I had been acknowledged in his book I decided to unashamedly bask in the reflected glory. Being Steve Onyett for a few minutes still ranks as one of my finest moments! He loved that anecdote when I recently revealed it to him, but couldn’t help but try to reflect any glory back to me. Steve had a particular modesty when it came to appraising his own work.

In his relationship to others the word that comes to mind for me in describing Steve would be generosity. He gave of his time, but perhaps more important was the quality of that gift. Steve had a generosity of spirit that shone through his passion to understand and help people. To describe Steve by his professional role of psychologist is to miss the point; he was a humanist who believed in the potential of others and dedicated his life to supporting and developing people. His choice of the Spanish word ‘Entero’ was apt for describing his passion for the whole person, supporting people to discover or recover their own solutions, identity and true place in the world.

His conference presentations were dynamic and engaging, and his workshops were always a passionate process of exploration and discovery. Steve understood the stupidity of some of the systems we have created, but was always prepared to work within them to create better leadership and conditions for change. He infused everything he did with a big heart, but on 28th September 2015 that heart tragically failed him. I lost my greatest guide and mentor, and the world of mental health lost one of its brightest lights. To use one of his favourite words, knowing you Steve was truly ‘groovy’… rest in peace my dear friend.



The Risk Decision-Making Coach

2015 has proved to be the year of business investment and change for Practice Based Evidence, with a focus on a US-based online marketing & coaching programme (EPIC from January – June, and Signature Series from June). The messages of 'Positive Risk-Taking' and a Strengths Approach are in the process of being developed into a webinar and signature programme supported through the purchase of the domain as the future home of a membership site.

Keep watching this space, Facebook & LinkedIn ads, as well as clicking on the domain for information on webinar dates. Who knows what the new signature programme could offer you… I will be offering business leaders and senior managers the opportunity to access a simple 5-step method to dissolving those fears associated with high-risk decisions. Get on board in order to change your relationship to risk forever!


How can 'Positive Risk-Taking' help build Dementia-Friendly Communities?

It is all too easy to see the negatives and deficits around someone living with dementia, and to remain oblivious to their capabilities and potential, as well as the supportive resources they have around them. Just because you have a particular label doesn't mean you have lost all capacity to dream and desire a reasonable quality of life for yourself, as determined by you, not imposed on you by others. However, the so-called 'community' can become a progressively challenging place as cognitive capabilities decline.

'Positive risk-taking' is a concept well established by the Practice Based Evidence consultancy, and it applies equally to the risks a person living with dementia may wish to take, and to all of us who live in, work in and develop communities. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned a piece of work from a collaboration of Practice Based Evidence and the Mental Health Foundation to investigate how the concept of positive risk-taking may apply to the government initiative of developing dementia-friendly communities. The think piece is explored in the published 'Viewpoint' at the following link:


Creative Best Practice (a four-part trilogy!?)

Working as a case manager I am fully aware of the importance of skillful care coordination for the most successful clinical and social outcomes for people needing health and social care services. This is also why I published 'The Art of Coordinating Care' in 2009, to promote a values-based approach to the creative thinking required in this role.

Contact with different types of teams reinforces my appreciation of the need to carefully consider how we assess, manage and take risks for positive outcomes... in our own lives as well as our work with others. This is also why I published 'Risk Decision-Making' in 2013 as guidance for promoting best practice in making carefully reasoned and defensible risk decisions.

Working with people in teams, in organisations, and with those in need of services has reinforced my long-standing belief in the importance of developing strengths rather than overly focusing on fixing weaknesses. This is also why I published 'Working with Strengths' in 2014 to draw together the evidence, influences and guidance for keeping us focused on excellence rather than driving mediocrity. 

The weekly podcast show 'The Strengths Revolution' commenced in April 2014 to reinforce all of the above messages about genuine strengths-based person-centred ways of working and being. Creative coaching and practice development is also available through the Practice Based Evidence consultancy.