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 strengths (15)


Developing a Strengths Approach in Practice

Through continuing work with Granta Housing Society a number of questions have arisen, such as how did the approach emerge and is it based in contemporary UK policies? The Strengths Overview gives a potted, but not exhaustive response to this question. As a set of positive principles, and as a way of thinking and working, the Strengths Approach pre-dates the concepts of recovery and personalisation... Strengths Approach and Recovery contrasts the development of the two concepts. What messages can be taken from applying the Strengths Approach to specific conditions? The lessons learned document outlines a few important insights from work with mental health, personality disorder and substance misuse conditions.


Strengths Leadership Programme

Developing your key staff

The managers of the teams who directly deliver services to service users and carers in health and social care organisations are in a pivotal role for influencing the success of an organisation. They are the people who manage the demands of the teams they are charged to lead, and the expectations of the organisation’s management structure. The quality of support and development offered to these people is critical to their morale and motivation in the job.

The Practice Based Evidence consultancy for mental health services has developed a programme based in a ‘Strengths Approach’ and the extensive strengths business research of the Gallup organisation, specifically focused on this group of key staff.

In discussion with the programme’s author, Hugh Griffiths (Deputy National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Department of Health) expressed the view that “it is very important to focus attention on developing the needs of the clinical team leaders and managers.”

This programme is now recognised through its inclusion on the CSIP ‘New Ways of Working’ website as a resource for organisation’s to consider as an option for the development of Team Managers/Leaders.

In an initial trial of the programme structure and content the following comments were made:

This is a very practical programme that gives tools to help me understand and lead the team. It applies to the real situation I work in, and ties in closely to how I feel and what I need.Sue Jugon (Assertive Outreach Team Manager).

This is so different from any other management courses or approaches I have experienced. It is focused very much on personal reflection from a very positive perspective.” Geoffrey Smith (CMHT Manager).

This programme meets the needs of team managers, and is full of very challenging exercises.Kirt Hunte (CRHT Manager).

The following linked pages outline the structure, content, delivery and intended outcomes of the programme. Contact Steve Morgan if you wish to consider commissioning such a programme of development in your organisation.

Team Managers/Leaders Programme.

Responses to Questions.

Relevant C.V. for facilitating the programme

  • Working with a ‘strengths approach’ since 1991
  • Writing textbooks, articles and materials incorporating strengths working since 1993
  • Training in strengths since 1995
  • Strengths practice within team development since 2001
  • Mentoring from a strengths perspective since 2001
  • Conference presentations on aspects of strengths working since 2003
  • Personal development through textbooks and online resources since 2003

Strengths Assessment Tools & Guidelines

Click below to download this form as a PDF.

PDF: Strengths Assessment tool: for developing working priorities and care/support planning

To read the report above you will need free software called Adobe Reader. This software can be downloaded here.

Guidelines for developing strengths working

Click here to download these guidelines as a PDF document.


To provide guidance for encouraging the identification of strengths as an essential part of all assessments in practice across the local services. Reflecting the need for a flexible approach that is individually tailored to service users needs on a case-by-case basis. It is intended to be a 'method of working' that supports client-led practice, not a service driven need for auditing standards. A strengths assessment tool may help the process, but is not considered essential for ensuring a unique picture of the person is being developed through a unique process. Strengths working forms a radically different basis with which to resolve problems and work with risk.

Who is it for?

  • Everyone who comes into contact with all services should have a balanced assessment that includes recognition of their 'strengths and abilities', not just a summary of 'problems'.
  • All service users should have an assessment of their strengths at least in a process of completion, documented in whatever way is most appropriate to ensuring they strongly influence the on-going work of the team.
  • Wants, aims, and aspirations are important anchors to drive plans forward, to clarify what resources are needed from whom in order to achieve them, and to identify what barriers or difficulties may need to be overcome.

When is it used?

  • From the first point of referral, direct contact and thinking about a person determined to be in need of the local services.
  • It is not a specialist assessment only to be drawn on in special cases.

How is it used?

  • There is no single way of doing it, or documenting it; but the outcome should be a positive inventory of achievements, resources and aspirations individualised to the experience of the person themselves.
  • In many cases a tool may simply act as the prompt for this aspect of assessment to take place, and to influence decisions in plans.
  • 'Strengths working' is a continuous process that develops over time. It is not something that is done to someone, but rather an outcome of mutual dialogue. Circumstances change, as may the service user's aspirations; therefore the assessment is not fixed, and new facets of a person continuously emerge.
  • The ultimate aim is for the assessment to be completed collaboratively, with or without an example of a form being introduced into the conversations. Paperwork in meetings can have a habit of formalising the situation, and thus getting in the way of the intended purpose.
  • In rare instances, the whole process could be described to the service user, and where appropriate, a strengths assessment format left with them to ponder and complete in their own time. This may then form a basis for the service user to lead a subsequent discussion of their strengths and aspirations with the practitioner.
  • The assessment is best conducted in an informal, conversational manner, rather than a structured interview. It is best conducted so far as is possible on the client's own 'territory' and in places where the user feels comfortable, rather than in formal service or institutional settings (e.g. the service user's home).
  • It develops at each service user's pace and comfort level, and adapts to change.
  • As 'strengths working' will be developed in response to the individual's circumstances, it is not relevant to set a standard time period for monitoring when it is completed and reviewed. Some assessments will be completed relatively quickly, and can reasonably be reviewed on a regular basis e.g. 6-monthly timescales. Some assessments will take many months or years to build up, and therefore do not fit a regular review cycle.

Structure of the process

  • The assessment is focused on gathering information relevant to a range of 'life domains' e.g. housing, finance, health, occupation, social relationships, cultural and spiritual beliefs. Therefore, it should paint a holistic picture of the service user's life.
  • It should be a positive, hopeful, and constructive process - the act of looking at strengths, possibilities and motivations is in itself constructive.
  • It provides the essential positive information and resources needed to work constructively with risk.
  • The format fits well with the local training on WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), and with Brief Solution Focused Therapy.

Strengths-Based Practice

The following article was first published in Openmind 126, Mar/Apr 2004) and is reproduced with their kind permission.

Steve Morgan goes beyond the alphabet of negativity

PDF: Strengths-based practice - OpenMind article

To read the report above you will need free software called Adobe Reader. This software can be downloaded here.


A Strengths Approach - Principles and Frequent Reactions

A Strength Approach has been adapted from the original ‘Personal Strengths Model of Case Management’ developed by Professor Charlie Rapp and colleagues at Kansas University in the early 1980’s. I was part of the original UK case management initiative that Professor Charlie Rapp and Wally Kisthardt presented their ideas to in 1991.

This approach has underpinned all of my work as a practitioner, supervisor, writer, trainer, and developer of other teams from 1991 onwards, and is the core philosophy of Practice Based Evidence.

PDF: Principles and Frequent Reactions

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