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.

Entries in decision-making (4)


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.


Risk Decision-Making

How many times have you been asked 'where is the risk assessment?' knowing that the quality of the work is of secondary value at best. A new manual has been produced in 2013 to focus the attention of people at all levels of organisations involved in health and social care services. We all make risk decisions, but we occasionally need guidance to support our confidence in doing so. This manual is focused on reducing bureaucracy, promoting quality, and responding to what we should really mean when we talk of being person-centred in our work.

Risk Decision-Making is available from Pavilion Publishing.


Practice Based Evidence for Risk

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust recently engaged the Practice Based Evidence consultancy to undertake an organisation-wide programme of Working with Risk training. By identifying a large cohort of senior clinical staff in ‘Leadership’ roles the Trust is establishing a positive commitment to working as constructively as possible within all teams. My role was to devise a training workshop that would reflect the principles and practice issues identified in the initial Leadership workshops. In addition to adopting their locally agreed set of principles and edited filming of Leadership discussions, I used my own materials on ‘Positive Risk-Taking’ and ‘Risk Decision-Making’ to facilitate reflective practice discussions as a main focus of the workshops. With the help of colleagues in ARW Training the cumulative evaluations across 50+ workshops were overwhelmingly positive. See the following two summaries for the numerical ratings of the workshops (the narrative comments cover too many pages to include, but broadly reflect the ratings).

Cumulative summary of workshop responses

Cumulative responses of additional workshops

The summaries represent 1252 and 72 responses respectively. The main lessons to be learned are that practitioners respond best to relevant and practical content that enables them to reflect on and develop their practice. Successful training workshops start with close attention to design and detail.



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