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Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice

Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice - 4th edition

ISBN13: 978-0205408177

Cover of Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice 4TH 06 (ISBN 978-0205408177)
ISBN13: 978-0205408177
ISBN10: 0205408176
Edition: 4TH 06
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Published: 2006
International: No

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Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice - 4TH 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-0205408177

Dennis Saleebey

ISBN13: 978-0205408177
ISBN10: 0205408176
Edition: 4TH 06
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Published: 2006
International: No

The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice presents an unrivaled collection of essays that explain the strengths-based philosophy, demonstrate how it works, and provide clear and practical tools for its application.

This Fourth Edition includes six new chapters on subjects such as: how to shift one's frame of mind to practice from a strengths perspective; using slave narratives of strength and resistance as guides and inspiration in the fight to end poverty; understanding and promoting the resilience of families; how to solve problems using a strengths perspective; using a strengths approach in working with substance abuse problems; and a new look at the relationships between individual strengths and environmental resources.

In addition, many other chapters have been significantly updated with new concepts and ideas, new references, new case vignettes, and new inquiry. The study questions have been revised to reflect the changing knowledge in the field. This is possibly the most extensive and varied text in the rapidly expanding field of strengths literature.


  • Presents a balanced approach to social work practice, in contrast to a problems-based approach, that takes into account the strengths and assets of clients and their environments-both proximal and distant, indigenous and organizational.
  • Each chapter is written by an expert in the field.
  • Utilizes a clear and concise writing style, resulting in concepts presented so clearly students can immediately employ these skills in their classroom and practicum settings.
  • Features an up-to-date inquiry into the strengths perspective, integrated with updated references throughout the text.
  • Includes timely cases and vignettes in every chapter that engage students and make the application of concepts more easy to understand.

Covers more fields of practice and populations than earlier editions.
New To This Edition

  • Six New Chapters:
    • "Shifting our Habits of Mind: Learning to Practice from a Strengths Perspective"(Ch. 2) examines how social work practice was historically a more problem-focused profession and the how the current shift towards strengths plays an important part in our work.
    • "Solving Problems from a Strengths Perspective" explores, with relevant examples, how a practitioner can take a perspective on problems that leads to strengths-based and solution-focused practices.
    • "Strengths-Based Case Management: Enhancing Work with Persons with Substance Abuse Problems" (Ch. 8) explores the further extensions of and developments in this important and ground-breaking work.
    • "The Resilience of Families" (Ch. 11) examines those factors that promote family resilience and how they can be applied in practice.
    • "Consciousness and Commitment: Slave Narratives in Today's Movement to End Poverty" (Ch. 12) applies the lessons of the resistance movements of slaves in order to develop effective and strengths-based strategies for ending poverty.
    • "Honoring Philosophical Traditions: The Strengths Model and the Social Environment" (Ch. 14) presents the strongest and clearest relationship between environmental resources and individual strengths in practicing from the strengths perspective.
  • Extensive revisions of existing chapters make this a fresh, more up-to-date book that retains the passion and sensibilities of the previous editions but with innovative examples, and revised, more current bibliographies.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Power in the People.

The Fascination with Problems and Pathology.
The Strengths Perspective: Philosophy, Concepts, and Principles.
The Lexicon of Strengths.
Principles of the Strengths Perspective.
Some Preliminary Thoughts.

2. Shifting Our Habits of Mind: Learning to Practice from a Strengths Perspective.

The Deficit/Pathology of Knowledge Base Becomes Synonymous with Social Work.
Maintaining Our Sense of What is Right.
Shifting the Fundamental Frame of Practice.
Shifting Frames to a Strengths Perspective.


3. Strengths of First Nations Peoples.

Historical Distortion of Strengths of Indigenous Peoples.
What Are the Strengths of Indigenous Peoples?

4. The Significance of Spirituality for Resilient Response to Chronic Illness: A Qualitative Study of Adults with Cystic Fibrosis.

Summary of Findings.
A Consensus Statement on Spirituality as a Source of Strength by Adults with CIF.
Implications for Social Work.


5. The Strengths Approach to Practice.

Some Beginning Observations about Strengths-Based Practice.

6. Assessing Client Strengths: Individual, Family, and Community Empowerment.

More Deficit, Disease, and Dysfunction?
Assessment as Political Activity.
Strengths and Empowerment.
Strengths: or Just a New Spin on an Old Problem?
Importance of Assessing Strengths.
Assessment Process.

7. Solving Problems from a Strengths Perspective.

Strengths and Solutions.
Commonalities and Differences.
What about Problems?
Extensions of Strengths- and Solution-Focused Practice.

8. Strengths-Based Case Management: Enhancing Treatment for Persons with Substance Abuse Problems.

Strengths-Based Case Management with Persons Who May Have Substance Abuse Problems.
Strengths-Based Case Management: Measuring Its Impact.
Strengths-Based Case Management as a Brief Intervention.

9. The Strengths Model with Older Adults: Critical Practice Components.

Conceptual Framework for Practice.
Critical Practice Components of Effective Case Management.
Utility of the Strengths Model in the Changing Long-Term Care Environment.

10. The Opportunities and Challenges of Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Practice: Purpose, Principles, and Applications in a Climate of Systems' Integration.

The Purpose of the Strengths Approach.
The Six Principles of Strengths-Based Helping.
Strategies That Promote Effective Engagement from the Perspective of the Service Participant.
The Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan.

11. Using Strengths-Based Practice to Tap the Resilience of Families.

Resilience Research.
Environmental Protective Factors.
What Research Says about Families.
Family Resilience.


12. That History Becomes You: Slave Narratives and Today's Movement to End Poverty.

The Organization and the Movement.
The Study: Narratives and Commitment.
The Development of Political Consciousness.

13. Community Development, Neighborhood Empowerment, and the Individual Resilience.

The Power of Context: What You See is How You Get.
Community Development: Emerging Ideas and Practices.
Coming Together: Community and Individual Resilience.
Exemplars of Community Development Practice.
Notes on Community Building and Programs That Work.

14. Honoring Philosophical Traditions: The Strengths Model and the Social Environment

Basic Assumptions.
Environment Defined.
Niche Enrichment and Development: Mobilizing Personal and Environmental Strengths.
The Match Game: Aligning Individual and Environmental Strengths.


15. The Strengths Perspective: Possibilities and Problems.

Questions and Cautions about the Strengths Perspective.
Of Paradigms and Prospects: Converging Lines of Thought.

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