Strength-Based Practice

  1. Define the Strengths Approach?

The Strengths Approach is a therapeutic model that entails assessment of how individuals want their own lives to be like, and the resources they possess that can enable them to achieve their aspirations and goals pertaining to quality life and wellbeing (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). Thus the theory focuses on strengths-oriented aspects. These include aspects such as what one is good at, his or her values, and the kind of hopes the person has.

  1. Define the Deficits Approach?

The Deficits Approach seeks to address health problems through their assessment and prescription of interventions (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). This model involves the assessment of an individual’s deficits, diseases, disabilities, and other conditions. After this assessment, effective interventions are put in place to solve the issues.

  1. In your own words, compare the Strengths and Deficits approach?

There are many ways in which the Deficits Approach and the Strengths Approach can be compared. To begin with, the Deficits Approach focuses on what is abnormal, wrong, or missing. In contrast, the Strengths Approach emphasizes on capabilities, adaptive processes, and resources (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). In the Deficits Approach, a professional is regarded as an expert in the therapeutic relationship. On the other hand, individuals and their communities and families are considered to be experts for their health in the Strengths Approach (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). It is also important to note that the Deficits Approach sees an individual client as a case that should be diagnosed. However, the Strengths Approach views the client as a unique person with resources and special talents (Heyne & Anderson, 2012).

  1. Is focusing on a person’s deficits therapeutic? Explain.

Emphasizing on the deficits of an individual is therapeutic. This is due to the fact that the therapeutic relationship in this case is mainly defined by the client’s problems (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). The approach is based on the understanding that the expert of the therapeutic process is the professional, and that problems are the major target.

  1. After reviewing the chart on page 111, identify 5 approaches from a Deficit to a Strength Approach that mean are the most important to you. Explain the why.

Based on the review of the chart provided in the article, the five approaches that are important to me include viewing clients as cases for diagnosis, focusing on what is abnormal and missing, emphasizing on the clients’ unique talents, taking into consideration the resources they have, and allowing them to be experts of their health (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). These approaches derive from both the Deficits and Strengths models.  They help to ensure that individuals’ problems and strengths are considered in the planning of therapeutic care.

  1. After reviewing the Deficits Approach on the left side of the chart (pg. 111), describe how you think Therapeutic Recreation activities were planned in the PAST from a deficits approach. Do you think they were they effective from a deficits approach?

In the past, planning of the most therapeutic recreational activities was based on a Deficits Approach. Therapeutic professionals often assessed the conditions of their clients in order to understand their problems. After this, they suggested recreational interventions for the clients (Heyne & Anderson, 2012). This demonstrates that whatever recreational activities were proposed by the professionals were never effective. The professionals did not consider the importance of incorporating the strengths of the clients into their therapeutic care. As a result, the clients were less likely to meet their broader goals.


Heyne, L. A., & Anderson, L. S. (2012). Theories that Support Strengths-Based Practice in Therapeutic Recreation. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, XLVI (2): 106-128.

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