Strength-Based Therapy

Strengths-based therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that draws on what is going well in your life.

While you might identify and work on problems in strengths-based therapy, the focus of treatment isn’t on what’s wrong. Instead, the focus is on what’s right.

For example, if you’re working on improving relationships as one goal of therapy, a strengths-based approach might start by identifying positive relationships you already have and figuring out why they work well for you.

Strengths-based therapy is not a specific treatment in and of itself, but rather an approach or mindset that therapists commonly use as part of many different kinds of therapy.

What can strengths-based therapy help with?

Strengths-based therapy is used as part of many different kinds of therapy, so it can be used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions.

You might find strengths-based therapy especially helpful if you’re dealing with any of the following:

How does strengths-based therapy work?

The idea behind strengths-based therapy is that you can make progress toward your goals more easily when you focus on your positive qualities.

That’s not to say that strengths-based therapy denies your challenges or shortcomings. Rather, it acknowledges the parts of your life that aren’t as great while emphasizing the parts that are more positive. By focusing on your strengths, you can put yourself in a mindset that makes positive change feel more achievable.

Particularly if you have a diagnosed mental health condition, a strengths-based approach can be a helpful way to remember that you are not your diagnosis. That is, you have plenty of skills and strengths to draw on, no matter what you’re struggling with.

What are some different kinds of strengths-based therapy?

A strengths-based approach can be used in many different kinds of therapy and counseling.

Some of the most common kinds of therapy that tend to be strengths-based include:

What happens in a typical strengths-based therapy session?

Because a strengths-based approach can apply to so many different kinds of therapy, there’s no set format for strengths-based therapy sessions.

That said, you’re likely to experience some of the following activities in a strengths-based therapy session:

What should I look for in a strengths-based therapist?

Therapists who use a strengths-based approach may be social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or another kind of mental health professional. No matter what kind of therapist you choose to work with, make sure that they meet the following criteria:

Finally, as with any therapy, it’s important to make sure that your therapist is a good fit for your unique needs. Be sure to evaluate the following in your initial calls with therapists:

Find strengths-based therapists near you

Find strengths-based therapists on Zencare. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.