Strength-based therapy is a form of counseling that concentrates on the client’s inner strengths and resourcefulness. This emphasis helps a client to gain a positive attitude that allows him to build on his best qualities and build on them to develop or improve resilience.
When Strength-Based Therapy is Recommended
This is a good option for clients who have been struggling with self-esteem issues. It is also a good choice for clients who have been involved in an abusive relationship with either a parent or a partner. People with mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia could potentially benefit from this type of therapy. It can be used to help them lower stress levels and build confidence.
Strength-based therapy can be used to help clients of all ages, as well as couples in therapy. It is also appropriate to be used in family therapy.
How Strength-Based Therapy Works
Some clients come into therapy because they are interested in dealing with feelings that have left them feeling worn down. They may express an interest in changing behavior that they have been struggling with that is causing frustration in their lives.
Initially, the therapist will focus on what is working well in the client’s life in spite of the challenges he is facing. This approach teaches the client to look at their own lives and appreciate their own wisdom and how they have persevered. The therapist helps the client understand that what has happened to them or what they are struggling with is the result of dealing with stress. Through this process, the client learns to recognize and appreciate his inner strengths and use these resources to practice better self-care.
Emotional Stress and Strength-Based Therapy
Clients seeking strength-based therapy often share with their therapist that they have heard comments from others such as “withdrawn,” “defiant,” “difficult,” or “badly behaved” to describe them as children. These labels are usually don’t accurately describe a person, but are a reflection of their level of stress.
Someone who is feeling overwhelmed by the expectations placed on them to be or act in a certain manner and who feels they aren’t getting any support may appear to have the characteristics described above. They don’t know how to ask for help, so they either withdraw or they lash out.
Someone who has been dealing with a high level of emotional stress may have forgotten (or not realize) that he has positive qualities and has already successfully navigated through challenging situations. Strength-based therapy can be used to assist a client make sense of their thoughts and feelings and gain skills they can use moving forward.