What are the 6 key principles of a strengths-based approach


A strengths-based approach is a way of working that values human strengths and focuses on the individual’s capabilities rather than their deficits. It is based on the belief that individuals have the capability to change if they are given the opportunity and encouragement to do so. The focus of treatment should be on what people can do, not what they cannot do.

Valuing human strengths, such as courage, compassion, and love.

  • Strengths are the positive qualities that people have. They’re the things that people do well, enjoy doing, and are good at.
  • Strengths can be seen as skills, abilities, or talents that we use in our daily lives. They also include our personal qualities such as honesty, kindness, and determination.

Identifying your core qualities

Strengths-based approaches focus on identifying, developing, and using your strengths. The first step is to identify what makes you unique, and then you can use this knowledge to help you build on your strengths.

These are the qualities that define you as a person—they’re what makes you unique. Take some time to list these qualities down on paper or in a journal; it can be helpful if you write them down in order of importance. When you’re finished, take a look at your list and ask yourself some questions: Which of these qualities do I most enjoy using? Which ones am I best at using? Which ones do other people compliment me on?

Knowing what makes you unique will help you focus on using these characteristics to your advantage in all aspects of your life.

Finding and clarifying goals, problems, and objectives based on your own values, strengths, and interests.

One of the principles of the strengths-based approach is to find and clarify goals, problems, and objectives based on your own values, strengths, and interests.

  • Goals should be SMART: Specific (the goal is described in detail), Measurable (a specific target can be identified), Attainable (the goal can be reached), Relevant (it’s relevant to your life), and Time-bound (there is a deadline or time frame).
  • Goals should be written down. Writing down your goals will help you stay focused on them throughout the day. When you write out your goals, you become more accountable for achieving them because they are no longer just floating around in your head somewhere hoping that one day you’ll remember to get around to it! It also helps you identify barriers along the way so that you can find ways around them instead of giving up when obstacles arise as well as giving yourself reminders every time you look at your lists about what exactly needs doing next time so that nothing gets forgotten!

Using the resources in your environment to effectively deal with your problems.

This principle focuses on your ability to identify, access, and use existing resources in your environment effectively.

A strengths-based approach is about helping you to use the strengths within yourself and those around you to deal with problems. This may include:

  • Identifying and using existing resources (for example, you have a good relationship with your manager)
  • Using the strengths of other people (for example, asking a colleague for advice)
  • Using the strengths of the organization or community (for example, using social media as a platform to share ideas)
  • Using the strengths of your environment (for example, using natural light in your office to feel more positive)

Building on your strengths or sense of efficacy

One of the key principles of a strengths-based approach is that therapists build on your strengths or sense of efficacy. The therapists will help you to use your existing coping skills and problem-solving abilities, rather than trying to remove or change these things. In other words, it should focus on what works for you and not what doesn’t work.

A strength is something that someone has in abundance – even if you don’t always use it well or are unaware of it at times. It may be a trait or an ability, such as being empathetic; an achievement like passing your driving test; an interest such as singing (or painting) – anything which defines you as a unique individual with something valuable that you can offer others and add value back into society through helping others in some way.

A strengths-based approach is a way of working that values human strengths and focuses on the individual’s capabilities rather than their deficits.

It can be used in many different settings, such as healthcare, education, and social care services. A strength is something you are good at or enjoy doing. By focusing on strengths, you can achieve more in life and work.

When you focus on your weaknesses or what you don’t like about yourself, it can make you feel low or worthless. However, when you focus on your strengths, you will feel more empowered and confident in yourself and the way you live your life.


Strengths-based practice is a way of working that values your strengths and focuses on your capabilities rather than your deficits. Identifying your core qualities and finding ways to build on them, can make life more meaningful and fulfilling.