Impact of strengths model training and supervision on the therapeutic practice of Australian mental health clinicians

Publication Name

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing


This study explored the impact of Strengths Model training, supervision and mentorship on the practice of a group of multi-disciplinary mental health clinicians that included mental health nurses, social workers, psychologists, and occupational therapists. A qualitative approach that combined critical realism and grounded theory was used. The findings demonstrated how a substantive category, Getting to Know Clients Better, facilitated participants' progression through a basic social psychological process, Becoming a Strengths-Informed Practitioner. This process consisted of a discernible and sustained change towards more person-centred, hopeful, and recovery-oriented practice. The findings also described an underlying generative mechanism for this, the Client Becomes Visible, which accorded with theoretical models of empathy, based on enhanced cognitive processing. The strength-based approach to practice facilitated the establishment of a collaborative relationship and a stronger therapeutic alliance between the client and clinician. The research demonstrated that Strengths Model is an effective vehicle for improving recovery-orientated mental health services.

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