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.


Positive risk-taking: an idea whose time has come

Update: Originally the PDF was missing (and our thanks to an eagle-eyed visitor for letting us know). The PDF has now been added. The article is from 2004 and is a forerunner of 2 other articles, published in 2010, which can be found here.

This was the first of Steve's dedicated articles to the concept of positive risk-taking, and is produced here with kind permission from the publishers of Health Care Risk Report.

PDF: Positive risk-taking: an idea whose time has come


What is 'Practice Based Evidence'?

As I start this new chapter in the 'Practice Based Evidence' website, I thought it worth revisiting a basic principle...

What is 'Practice Based Evidence'?

Established in October 2001 by Steve Morgan, 'Practice Based Evidence' presents a challenge for us all to think more carefully about the ways we can support the development of good practice in mental health services. If 'mental health research' is as informative as its authors believe, why is it inaccessible to the average practitioner and service user? If 'mental health training' is as effective as its facilitators believe, why is it having so little impact on practice?
The confines of the orthodox...

Good quality 'mental health research' should present challenges to routine ways of doing things. It should illuminate new as well as existing ways of working; and it should be able to excite people into thinking of ways they can change what it is they are doing.

Steve was ready for anything the critics were going to throw at him.

The amount of attention drawn to the concept of 'Evidence Based Practice' has conveniently supported the development of a citadel populated exclusively by academics, policy-makers and managers. A shared language helps to define a sense of self-importance, by presenting significant barriers to accessibility by others. Protocols, targets and audits present impenetrable walls, and the gold standard 'randomised control trial' is the heavy-duty portcullis barring the entrance to any external influences. Nowhere in this picture of fortification do we get a sense of the realities and details of everyday practical experience. Those who research and develop policy are largely exonerated from venturing out into the gritty and murky depths of poorly resourced services, mired in the local politics and personality battles.

Good quality 'mental health training' should engage the minds of participants, promote a sharing of experiences and ideas, and focus on specific needs for practice. The majority of the time it re-hashes the same old messages in uninspiring ways, unconnected with practitioner priorities.

When linked to research, training becomes little more than the mechanism for delivering the message'. As a resource training becomes a product, an end in itself, rather than a means to developing and refining the process of good practice. Translating the important messages from the workshop to the workplace is left entirely to the participants. Training can become a wasteful resource, through its failure to address the essential element of impact on changes in practice.

The logic of the unorthodox...

Where 'Evidence Based Practice' operates at a level of generality, 'Practice Based Evidence' acts at a deeper connection with real practice. The approach requires a direct acknowledgement of the context in which individuals and teams work. It gives a voice to practitioners and service users, recognising that they have first hand knowledge and experience of what works, what needs to change, and how it may change. Ordinary people have the ability to do the most extraordinary things, and these messages deserve to inform the concept of good practice every bit as much as the messages from research.

'Practice Based Evidence' is a concept that has a specific approach (practice development in mental health), is based on solid principles (a strengths approach), and works in important areas of practice (e.g. positive risk-taking). When linked to training, it has the potential to make more effective use of limited resources, and to create the impact that 'Evidence Based Practice' should be making.

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