What is strength-based assessment in psychotherapy?

While there is a growing recognition of the importance of strength-based assessment in the field of psychotherapy, there is little written on how to implement it or any research on its effects. The practice of strength-based assessment encourages clinicians to also pay attention to strengths of clients in addition to the focus on impairments and disorders. If you go to a psychologist for help, you can predict that some of the feedback you will get on what is wrong with you has more to do with what psychologists are trained to do than what is really wrong with you.

As important as strength-based assessment is, there is still a difference between the approach I advocate and the theory of strength-based assessment which doesn't challenge the existence of an impairment. Rather, strength-based assessment looks for strengths alongside of the diagnosis/impairment. In contrast, the view I advance claims that even the impairment of current functioning can be viewed as a gift. While it is also important to actively look for a person's strengths in addition to depression, my view goes a step further and proposes that there may be a gift in the depression itself.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.