Steve Morgan

Working with Strengths


Putting personalisation and recovery into practice

Working with Strengths clarifies the practical delivery of person-centred practice, and how strengths can be the driving force for staff development.



Working with Strengths is a handbook to delivering person-centred practice and recovery. The language in health and social care is littered with references to person-centred care, person-centred planning, personalisation, self-directed support, recovery and enablement.

However, there remains a degree of confusion between service users, carers, practitioners, managers and commissioners about the practical delivery of these concepts in daily practice. A consistent theme throughout all of these concepts is the need to identify and work with people’s strengths (i.e. their abilities, capabilities, qualities, motivations, wants and aspirations).

Outside of health and social care, the Gallup Organisation has identified through decades of research that focusing on strengths is at the heart of every successful business. So, it is not something that should only impact on the thinking and working of practitioners. Working with Strengths elaborates on how we need to place strengths as the driving force for staff development, team development and organisational leadership.


Working with Strengths will inform and benefit frontline practitioners, teams within social care, carers, managers and commissioners of services.


ISBN: 9781909810648
Publication: 21 May 2014
Content: Chapter 1: Defining a strengths approach; Chapter 2: Values-based practice; Chapter 3: Strengths-based practice; Chapter 4: Personalisation; Chapter 5: Recovery and a strengths approach; Chapter 6: Positive theory and positive practice; Chapter 7: Reviewing the evidence base; Chapter 8: Strengths assessment; Chapter 9: Strengths-based support planning; Chapter 10: Care and support planning guide; Chapter 11: Supporting staff innovation; Chapter 12: Team development; Chapter 13: Funky Mental Health; Chapter 14: Management and leadership; Appendix 1: Working with strengths checklist; Appendix 2: A ‘strengths’ leadership development programme.


Steve Morgan worked as an occupational therapist on an acute inpatient unit in the mid-1980s before taking up roles in community mental health and assertive outreach in inner-city London Services from 1987 to 1997. He spent seven years working in the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health training section before leaving in 2001 to establish his own practice development consultancy: Practice Based Evidence. He gained an MA in Practice Development in Mental Health in 1998, with the National Centre for Work Based Learning and Middlesex University.
Steve has published a number of books, training manuals and articles since 1993. He authored the Sainsbury Centre risk publications in 1998 and 2000, and incorporated more recent revisions and developments of that work into the Working with Risk trainers’ and practitioners’ manuals published by Pavilion in 2007. In 2009 he published The Art of Co-ordinating Care, before extensively revising them for Risk Decision Making, published by Pavilion in 2013.

Steve writes his own blog, The Strengths Revolution, which goes alongside his podcast of the same name and is available to listen to for free via iTunes and online.


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