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.


 

Twitter
  • 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 strengths (10)

Sunday
Sep212014

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.

Tuesday
Jun032014

Sacred Fools

Why listen to the self-styled publicity of the author when you can take the word of an independent expert? The following are extracts from the Foreword written by Professor Steve Onyett for this new book 'Working with Strengths':

Steve OnyettRadical in the sense of challenging the status quo. I love the notion of "funky" mental health services where we first break all the rules – not in a spirit of anarchy so much as in recognition of the fact that so many of our current assumptions simply don’t serve. We need more sacred fools who will run into the royal court and fart in front of the King or Queen in order to shake things up and reveal new and better ways.

There is no shortage of guidance around. There is a plethora of exhortations to be positive and focus on strengths from every direction. However, not so many get behind the rhetoric to look with clear and open eyes at how this plays out in reality. This requires that we look not just at what people say they do, but what they do do. It means that we need to look at what happens in practice and learn from that experience.

Steve Morgan is one of our greatest assets in this context. He has been at the forefront of the movement for strengths based practice in mental health services for a long time and has borne witness to both its successes and it’s disappointments. He has brought this invaluable perspective to bear here in a book that tells you pretty much everything there is to know about how things could be, while also equipping you for the stark realities of implementation in challenging contexts. He does this without judgement or cynicism, thereby leaving us with a sense of the possible and a range of first steps that we can take to make it happen. It has been said that a cynic is a passionate person that does not want to be disappointed again (Zander and Zander, 2000). Here Steve talks to the passion rather than the disappointment.

Tuesday
Aug272013

Targeted training

In health and social care services we have a long tradition of adopting a scatter-gun approach to staff training. Perhaps this is why staff members often feel negative about mandatory training initiatives, or feel that provision is often made as a knee-jerk response to something going wrong. More generous feedback emerges from events that individual's have personally chosen to attend, but these often have little positive ripple effect out into the team they are part of... if you weren't there you simply aren't going to know much about it.

The Practice Based Evidence initiative has long tried to establish a strengths approach to training, as well as to working with service users. The essence is to get all team members to provide a baseline evaluation of the good and not so good practice in their team, against a series of positive statements of best practice that should be relevant to the way they work. Hence, several Practice Based Evidence tools were devised to address different types of teams and different person-centred approaches to working.

In the case of one of the Newham Community Mental Health Teams in 2006 an honest anonymised evaluation of team practice helped to identify the priorities for a subsequent 5-day programme tailored to their needs. This example illustrates how a practice development approach to training initiatives can respond to the needs identified by practitioners themselves, impact on the practice of a whole team, and engage people more in the process of change. This is how a strengths approach can apply as much to team development as it should do for working with service users. See also Take a picture of this for a larger initiative following a similar approach but capturing the evidence of positive change.

Monday
Dec192011

Working with Strengths

At a strategic level we are continually expanding the language, but essentially using new words and phrases to say the same thing... recovery, personalisation, self-directed support, person-centred planning, re-ablement/re-enablement. Nobody can seriously disagree with the premise that service users should be given a voice in order to say what they need and want, to reflect on how best to meet their wishes and aspirations, to exercise choice and feel supported in their decision-making. However, there is often a gap between what we are saying we are doing as services, and what service users are experiencing on the receiving end.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov282010

A review of the Assertive Outreach Strengths Approach textbook

February 2004 saw the publication of a textbook written by myself and Peter Ryan, with a foreword by Professor Charlie Rapp. It is primarily aimed at developing assertive outreach, but its focus on a strengths approach is applicable to all parts of the mental health system.

Why not check it out at Amazon (or read an excellent user review from Amazon below) and Elsevier Health or click on the image for more information.

4.0 out of 5 stars 'A funky approach to mental health care' by "beauchampbooks"

"In 2000, two Swedish business gurus wrote a book called Funky Business. The concept was that the corporate world had become a more interesting place in which people could be creative, risk-taking entrepreneurs. Assertive Outreach (subtitled A strengths approach to policy and practice) could be the Funky Business of mental health care; it could almost have been called Funky Mental Health Care! This is not to suggest that it lacks seriousness or depth. The design of the book does suggest a... funkier approach, but the book is a sincere and important contribution to changing policy and practice."

"Paradoxically, in some ways, it is not particularly about assertive outreach. It is really about a strengths approach which could (and arguably should) influence mental health care generally. The Strengths Model of Case Management (developed in the USA by Charles Rapp since the early 1980s) is the organising principle of the book and, indeed, Rapp contributes a foreword which describes it as "a clarion call for policy and practice to be intelligent and coherent, and anchored by the well-being of the people we serve."

"Assertive Outreach is a breath of fresh air for nurses bogged down in the mire of risk-averse, box-ticking, mechanistic organisations. It provides a perfectly clear and comprehensive account of the history, the evidence base and the present day practice of what, in the UK, is called assertive outreach and what the differences are between this and the related concept of case management. It was a delight to see a whole chapter devoted to risk-taking (instead of risk management). Throughout, the reductionism of care coordination is put in its place with the emphasis being on creative collaboration, with excellent sections on true team-working and an argument for, not just evidence-based practice, but practice-based evidence - all necessarily funky."