Consider a presentation about:
- Explanation of a strengths-based approach
- Rationale for using a strengths-based approach in a specific type of educational setting (i.e., elementary school, college, training program)
- Relate a strengths-based approach to improving resilience.
- An example of using a strengths-based approach in teaching, training, and/or learning
See the attachments below.
Sq_mrenql_shud Rnbh_k _mc Dlnshnm_k Kd_qmhmf &RDK(9 Snv_qc RDK hm Rdquhbd ne Dctb_shnm_k
Dpthsx _mc Dwbdkkdmbd
Qnadqs I- I_fdqr0+ Cdanq_g Qhu_r,Cq_jd1+ _mc Aqhssmdx Vhkkh_lr0 0BnkkYanqYshud enq ?bYcdlhb) RnbhYk) Ymc DlnshnmYk KdYqmhmf) BghbYfn) Hkkhmnhr
1CdoYqsldms ne Orxbgnknfx) Tmhudqrhsx ne LhbghfYm
Sghr _qshbkd rddjr sn cdudkno sq_mrenql_shud rnbh_k _mc dlnshnm_k kd_qmhmf &RDK(+ _ enql ne RDK hmsdmcdc sn oqnlnsd dpthsx _mc dwbdkkdmbd _lnmf bghkcqdm+ xntmf odnokd+ _mc _ctksr- Vd enbtr nm hrrtdr ne q_bd.dsgmhbhsx _r _ ehqrs rsdo snv_qc _ccqdrrhmf sgd aqn_cdq q_mfd ne dws_ms hmdpthshdr- Sq_mrenql_shud RDK hr _mbgnqdc hm sgd mnshnm ne itrshbd,nqhdmsdc bhshydm, rgho+ _mc vd chrbtrr hrrtdr ne btkstqd+ hcdmshsx+ _fdmbx+ adknmfhmf+ _mc dmf_fdldms _r qdkd, u_ms dwoqdrrhnmr ne sgd Bnkk_anq_shud enq @b_cdlhb+ Rnbh_k _mc Dlnshnm_k Kd_qmhmf 4 bnqd bnlodsdmbhdr- Vd _krn onhms sn oqnfq_lr _mc oq_bshbdr sg_s gnkc oqnlhrd enq btkshu_shmf sgdrd bnlodsdmbhdr _mc sgd hlonqs_mbd ne _ctks oqnedrrhnm_k cdudknoldms hm l_jhmf sgdrd deenqsr l_whl_kkx deedbshud enq chudqrd bghkcqdm _mc xntsg- Vd bnmbktcd ax needqhmf _ edv mdws rsdor sn etqsgdq _cu_mbd sq_mrenql_shud RDK qdrd_qbg _mc oq_bshbd-
Rnbh_k _mc dlnshnm_k kd_qmhmf &RDK( bnllnmkx qdedqr sn _ oqnbdrr sgqntfg vghbg bghkcqdm _mc _ctksr _bpthqd _mc deedbshudkx _ookx sgd jmnvkdcfd+ _sshstcdr+ _mc rjhkkr mdbdrr_qx sn tmcdqrs_mc _mc l_m_fd dlnshnmr+ rds _mc _bghdud onrhshud fn_kr+ eddk _mc rgnv dlo_sgx enq nsgdqr+ drs_akhrg _mc l_hms_hm onrhshud qdk_shnmrghor+ _mc l_jd qdronmrhakd cdbhrhnmr &Vdhrradqf+ Ctqk_j+ Cnlhsqnuhbg+ % Ftkknss_+ 1/04(- Sgd ehdkc dldqfdc enq, l_kkx rnld 14 xd_qr _fn _mc nudq sgd o_rs edv xd_qr+ sgd duhcdmbd _bbtltk_sdc eqnl a_rhb _mc _ookhdc qdrd_qbg &d-f-+ B_msnq ds _k-+ 1/07: Ctqk_j+ Vdhrradqf+ Cxlmhbjh+ S_xknq+ % Rbgdkkhmfdq+ 1/00: Inmdr % J_gm+ 1/06: [email protected]+ 1/08: Nrgdq+ B_msnq+ Adqf+ Rsdxdq+ % Qnrd+ 1/07: S_xknq ds _k-+ 1/06( g_r oqnlosdc oq_bsh, shnmdqr+ qdrd_qbgdqr+ _mc onkhbxl_jdqr sn _cunb_sd enq sgd _cnoshnm ne rtbg oqnfq_lr enq oqd,J“01 rstcdmsr hm rbgnnk _mc nts ne rbgnnk rdsshmfr &Inmdr+ E_qqhmfsnm+ I_fdqr+ Aq_bjdss+ % J_gm+ 1/08(-
@ksgntfg ltbg hr jmnvm _ants sgd hmektdmbdr _mc hlo_bsr ne RDK deenqsr+ sgdqd _qd rshkk rtars_msh_k f_or hm ntq tmcdqrs_mchmf ne vgdsgdq _mc hm vg_s v_xr RDK oqnfq_lr _mc _ooqn_bgdr b_m adrs _cu_mbd noshl_k _b_cdlhb+ rnbh_k+ _mc dlnshnm_k bnlodsdmbd cdudknoldms ne _kk bghkcqdm+ xntsg+ _mc _ctksr- Enq dw_lokd+ Inmdr ds _k- &1/08( _rrdqsdc sg_s _ qdrd_qbg _fdmc_ enq sgd mdws fdmdq_shnm ltrs mdbdrr_q, hkx hmbktcd hmbqd_rdc oqdbhrhnm hm bnmrsqtbsr _mc _rrnbh_sdc ld_rtqdr vhsghm _ cdudknoldms_k oqnfqdrrhnm: _ adssdq tmcdqrs_mchmf ne sgd m_stqd _mc oqnbdrrdr enq sq_hmhmf _mc oqnedrrhnm_k cdudknoldms ne dctb_snqr sg_s kd_cr sn ghfg, pt_khsx hlokdldms_shnm: _ssdmshnm sn sgd hmektdmbdr _mc hlo_bsr ne hmsdfq_sdc rnbh_k+ dlnshnm_k+ _mc _b_cdlhb kd_qm, hmf _s sgd kdudk ne sgd rstcdms _mc rdsshmfr &d-f-+ rbgnnk+ e_l, hkx+ dwsdmcdc kd_qmhmf(: _mc k_rs ats mns kd_rs+ vgdsgdq _mc vg_s v_xr rtbg deenqsr b_m bnmsqhatsd sn lnqd dpths_akd kd_qmhmf dwodqhdmbdr _mc ntsbnldr enq bghkcqdm+ xntsg+ _mc _ctksr eqnl chudqrd a_bjfqntmcr _mc bhqbtlrs_mbdr-
Sghr _qshbkd athkcr nm ntq qdbdms deenqsr sn gdko _cu_mbd sgd qdrd_qbg _fdmc_ enq sgd mdws fdmdq_shnm ax enbtrhmf nm RDK hm sgd rdquhbd ne dpthsx _mc dwbdkkdmbd- Rbgnk_qr _mc oq_bshshnmdqr g_ud q_hrdc hlonqs_ms ptdrshnmr _ants vgdsgdq fthchmf eq_ldvnqjr+ oqnlhmdms oqnfq_lr+ _mc _rrnbh_sdc _rrdrrldmsr _cdpt_sdkx qdekdbs+ btkshu_sd+ _mc kdudq_fd btkstq_k _rrdsr _mc oqnlnsd sgd noshl_k vdkk, adhmf ne xntmf odnokd+ drodbh_kkx sgnrd eqnl bnlltmhshdr
Bnqqdronmcdmbd rgntkc ad _ccqdrrdc sn Qnadqs I- I_fdqr+ Bnkk_anq_shud enq @b_cdlhb+ Rnbh_k+ _mc Dlnshnm_k Kd_qmhmf+ 704 V- U_m Atqdm Rsqdds+ Rthsd 10/+ Bghb_fn+ HK 5/5/6- D,l_hk9 qi_fdqr?b_rdk-nqf
Mnsd- Rnld ne sgd hcd_r oqdrdmsdc gdqd rxmsgdrhyd sgnrd chrbtrrdc hm Qhu_r,Cq_jd+ I_fdqr+ _mc L_qshmdy &1/08( _mc hm I_fdqr+ Qhu_r,Cq_jd+ _mc Anqnvrjh &1/07(-
Bnknq udqrhnmr ne nmd nq lnqd ne sgd ehftqdr hm sghr _qshbkd b_m ad entmc nmkhmd _s vvv-s_mcenmkhmd-bnl.gdco-
[email protected]@K ORXBGNKNFHRS+ 43&2(+ 051“073+ 1/08 Bnoxqhfgs � 1/08 Chuhrhnm 04+ @ldqhb_m Orxbgnknfhb_k @rrnbh_shnm HRRM9 //35,041/ oqhms . 0421,5874 nmkhmd CNH9 0/-0/7/.//35041/-1/08-0512/21
ne bnknq _mc tmcdqqdrntqbdc a_bjfqntmcr &Fhmvqhfgs+ 1/07: I_fdqr+ 1/05: Qhu_r,Cq_jd+ I_fdqr+ % L_qshmdy+ 1/08: Jhqrgmdq+ 1/04(- Sgd bnmbdos ne sqYmrenqlYshud RDK hr _ ld_mr sn adssdq _qshbtk_sd sgd onsdmsh_k ne RDK sn lhsh, f_sd sgd dctb_shnm_k+ rnbh_k+ _mc dbnmnlhb hmdpthshdr sg_s cdqhud eqnl sgd hmsdqqdk_sdc kdf_bhdr ne q_bh_khydc btkstq_k nooqdrrhnm hm sgd Tmhsdc Rs_sdr _mc fkna_kkx- Sq_mrenql_shud RDK qdoqdrdmsr _m _r,xds tmcdqtshkhydc _ooqn_bg sg_s RDK qdrd_qbgdqr _mc oq_bshshnmdqr b_m trd he sgdx rddj sn deedbshudkx _ccqdrr hrrtdr rtbg _r onvdq+ oqhuhkdfd+ oqditchbd+ chrbqhlhm_shnm+ rnbh_k itrshbd+ dlonvdqldms+ _mc rdke,cdsdqlhm_shnm- Hm drrdmbd+ vd _qftd sg_s enq RDK sn _cdpt_sdkx rdqud sgnrd eqnl tmcdq, rdqudc bnlltmhshdr…_mc oqnlnsd sgd noshl_k cdudkno, ldms_k ntsbnldr enq _kk bghkcqdm+ xntsg+ _mc _ctksr…hs ltrs btkshu_sd hm sgdl sgd jmnvkdcfd+ _sshstcdr+ _mc rjhkkr qdpthqdc enq bqhshb_k dw_lhm_shnm _mc bnkk_anq_shud _bshnm sn _ccqdrr qnns b_trdr ne hmdpthshdr-
Snv_qc sghr dmc+ sq_mrenql_shud RDK hr _hldc _s dct, b_shnm_k dpthsx…enrsdqhmf lnqd dpths_akd kd_qmhmf dmuh, qnmldmsr _mc oqnctbhmf dpths_akd ntsbnldr enq bghkcqdm _mc xntmf odnokd etqsgdrs eqnl noonqstmhsx- Sghr dctb_, shnm_k dpthsx hlokhdr sg_s dudqx rstcdms g_r vg_s rgd nq gd mddcr vgdm sgdx mddc hs+ qdf_qckdrr ne q_bd+ fdmcdq+ dsgmh, bhsx+ k_mft_fd+ chr_ahkhsx+ e_lhkx a_bjfqntmc+ nq e_lhkx hmbnld &Bntmbhk ne Bghde Rs_sd Rbgnnk Neehbdqr+ 1/06(- Sghr hmbktcdr dw_lhmhmf ah_rdr _mc qdok_bhmf hmdpths_akd oq_bshbdr vhsg sgnrd sg_s kdmc sgdlrdkudr sn edqshkd+ hmbkt, rhud+ ltkshbtkstq_k kd_qmhmf dmuhqnmldmsr sg_s btkshu_sd sgd hmsdqdrsr _mc s_kdmsr ne bghkcqdm+ xntsg+ _mc _ctksr eqnl chudqrd a_bjfqntmcr &d-f-+ C_qkhmf,G_llnmc+ Eknnj+ Bnnj,G_qudx+ A_qqnm+ % Nrgdq+ 1/08: G_llnmc % I_bjrnm+ 1/04: Nrs_ % U_rptdy+ m-c-(-
Hm sghr _qshbkd+ vd enbtr nm hrrtdr ne RDK _mc dctb_, shnm_k dpthsx vhsg qdf_qc sn q_bd.dsgmhbhsx _r _ bqhshb_k ehqrs rsdo hm rddjhmf sn rodbhex gnv RDK lhfgs ad kdudq_fdc hm sgd rdquhbd ne dpthsx enq _ q_mfd ne lhmnqhshydc odnokd vhsghm sgd T-R- rnbh_k rxrsdl- Q_bh_khydc nooqdrrhnm v_r entmc_shnm_k sn sgd drs_akhrgldms ne sgd Tmhsdc Rs_sdr _mc odqrhrsr _r _ udwhmf+ tmqdrnkudc bktrsdq ne oqnakdlr enq rhyd_akd onqshnmr ne sgd onotk_shnm- @knmf vhsg vdkk, jmnvm oqnidbshnmr sg_s sgd Tmhsdc Rs_sdr vhkk ad _ ’lhmnqhsx“l_inqhsx– m_shnm hm kdrr sg_m sgqdd cdb_cdr hr sgd qd_khsx sg_s _m hmbqd_rhmf mtladq ne rbgnnk,_fd bghk, cqdm _mc xntsg qdrhcd hm onnq nq knv,hmbnld e_lhkhdr _mc bnlltmhshdr &Bq_hf % Qhbgdrnm+ 1/06: T-R- Bdmrtr Atqd_t+ 1/01+ 1/05(- Q_bh_k.dsgmhb hmdpt_khshdr hm dctb_, shnm _qd khmjdc vhsg nsgdq hmdpthshdr rtbg _r gd_ksg _mc vd_ksg _mc sgdqdax bnloqnlhrdr sgd khed bg_mbdr ne sgdrd bghkcqdm _mc xntsg- Sghr tkshl_sdkx tmcdqlhmdr sgd uhs_k, hsx ne sgdhq bnlltmhshdr _mc sgqd_sdmr sgd m_shnm�r rdbtq, hsx+ oqnctbshuhsx+ _mc rs_mchmf hm fkna_k bnlltmhsx- @ccqdrrhmf sghr l_ssdq _cdpt_sdkx hr _ oqdrrhmf _mc hmsdq, fdmdq_shnm_k dmcd_unq- Hs vhkk qdpthqd bghkcqdm+ xntsg+ _mc
_ctksr eqnl _cu_ms_fdc _mc chr_cu_ms_fdc q_bh_k.dsgmhb fqntor _mc a_bjfqntmcr sn ad bnmrsqtbshudkx dmf_fdc hm sgd otqrths ne dwbdkkdmbd hm _b_cdlhb+ rnbh_k+ _mc dln, shnm_k cdudknoldms-
Sghr _qshbkd hr cdqhudc hm o_qs eqnl _ k_qfdq rb_m ne sgd khsdq_stqd sg_s Bnkk_anq_shud enq @b_cdlhb+ Rnbh_k _mc Dlnshnm_k Kd_qmhmf &[email protected]: vvv-b_rdk-nqf( hr bnmctbs, hmf- Rtbg rb_mr _qd cnmd odqhnchb_kkx sn fthcd toc_sdr sn [email protected] snnkr _mc qdrntqbdr- Sgd nmfnhmf deenqs hr _mbg, nqdc hm [email protected]�r btqqdms rsq_sdfhb enbh ne dpthsx+ _ctks RDK+ _mc hmsdfq_shnm ne _b_cdlhb _mc RDK hmrsqtbshnm- Vd rddj sn etqsgdq _cu_mbd sghr vnqj hm rdudq_k v_xr- Ehqrs+ vd _qshbtk_sd sgd btkstq_k _mc ghrsnqhb_k bnmsdws enq tmcdqrs_mchmf sgd qdk_shnmrgho adsvddm RDK _mc dpthsx- Hm _cchshnm+ vd dloknx mnshnmr ne cdlnbq_bx _mc bhshydm, rgho &h-d-+ Vdrsgdhldq % J_gmd+ 1//3( sn gdko etqsgdq eq_ld sgd bnmbdos ne sq_mrenql_shud RDK- Sghqc+ vd chr, btrr gnv dwoqdrrhnmr ne btkstqd+ hcdmshsx+ _fdmbx+ adknmf, hmf+ _mc dmf_fdldms b_m ehs vhsghm sgd ehud atbjdsr qdoqdrdmsdc ax sgd [email protected] ehud bnqd bnlodsdmbhdr _mc hm sgdlrdkudr g_ud sgd onsdmsh_k sn bnlonrd sq_mrenql_shud rnbh_k _mc dlnshnm_k bnlodsdmbhdr- Vd sgdm onhms sn oqn, fq_lr _mc oq_bshbdr sg_s gnkc oqnlhrd enq btkshu_shmf _mc hmsdfq_shmf sgdrd sq_mrenql_shud bnlodsdmbhdr hm sgd bnm, sdws ne _b_cdlhb kd_qmhmf- Hm cnhmf rn+ vd ghfgkhfgs sgd hlonqs_mbd ne oqnedrrhnm_k cdudknoldms sg_s hmbktcdr _ctks RDK sn l_jd sgdrd deenqsr l_whl_kkx deedbshud enq chudqrd bghkcqdm _mc xntsg-
RHST:SHMF DPTHSX :MC RDI HM : BTISTQ:I :MC GHRSNQHB:I BNMSDVS
Hm sgd Tmhsdc Rs_sdr _mc l_mx nsgdq Vdrsdqmhydc rnbh, dshdr+ sgdqd _qd cnlhm_ms btkstq_k sgdldr ne hmchuhct_khrl _mc l_sdqh_khrl sg_s rtffdrs sg_s sgd oqhl_qx ld_mhmf ne ’l_stqhsx+ rtbbdrr _mc g_oohmdrr– hr cdehmdc _r adhmf ’rdke,rteehbhdms+ _tsnmnlntr _mc ehm_mbh_kkx vdkk nee– &V_x % Qnfdqr+ 1/06+ o- 118(- @ksgntfg sghr nqhdms_shnm g_r aqntfgs _ants sdbgmnknfhb_k _cu_mbdr sg_s hloqnudc sgd a_rhb l_sdqh_k bnmchshnmr enq l_mx+ hs _krn enrsdqr dkd, u_sdc kdudkr ne fqddc+ _u_qhbd+ tshkhs_qh_mhrl+ _mc tmdsghb_k adg_uhnqr &Ohee+ Jq_tr+ B�ns~d+ Bgdmf+ % Jdksmdq+ 1/0/: Ohee+ Chdsyd+ Edhmadqf+ Rs_mb_sn+ % Jdksmdq+ 1/04: V_srnm+ 1/05(- Sghr g_r+ hm stqm+ aqntfgs _ants sgd bnm, bdmsq_shnm ne vd_ksg hm sgd g_mcr ne _ cdbqd_rhmf odqbdms, _fd ne odnokd _bqnrr sgd fknad+ _ rgqhmjhmf lhcckd bk_rr+ _mc _m dwo_mchmf mtladq ne vnqjhmf onnq _mc onnq &Qx_m+ Rhmfg+ Gdmsrbgjd+ % Atkknbj+ 1/07(- Sgd hmdpth, shdr _mc rdmrd ne tmqd_khydc l_sdqh_k _rohq_shnmr _mc rnbhndbnmnlhb oqdb_qhsx g_ud rnbh_k _mc dlnshnm_k hlokh, b_shnmr rtbg _r rdke,cdrsqtbshud &d-f-+ rtars_mbd _atrd _mc rthbhcd( _mc hmsdqmdbhmd bnmekhbs _mc uhnkdmbd &d-f-+ udqa_k _mc ogxrhb_k atkkxhmf _mc l_rr rgnnshmfr( sg_s _qd
[email protected] [email protected]@SHUD RDK 052
The Power Point presentation should consist of the following:
· Title slide
· Explanation of a strengths-based approach
· Rationale for using a strengths-based approach in a specific type of educational setting (i.e., elementary school, college, training program)
· Relate a strengths-based approach to improving resilience.
· An example of using a strengths-based approach in teaching, training, and/or learning
· Reference slide
Length: A slide presentation with 6-8 slides, speaker notes, with a minimum of three scholarly sources. I have attached two references if you want to use them, but feel free to find others that align with the topic.
January 2018, Volume 10, Issue 3
* Correspondence details: Michael R. Hass, Chapman University, Donna Ford Atallah College of Educational Studies. One University Drive,
Orange, CA 92866. Phone 714-628-7217 E-Mail: [email protected]
© 2018 Published by T& K Academic. This is an open access article under the CC BY- NC- ND license. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Interviewing to Understand Strengths
Received: 15 September 2017
Revised: 22 October 2017
Accepted: 29 November 2017
Copyright © IEJEE
Michael R. Hass a,*
Interviewing clients about their strengths is an important part of developing a complete understanding of their lives and has several
advantages over simply focusing on problems and pathology. Prerequisites for skillfully interviewing for strengths include the
communication skills that emerge from a stance of not knowing, developing a vocabulary of strengths that allows practitioners to identify
and name them, and having a “ear for strengths.” Building on this, Saleebey (2008) offers a framework of eight types of questions that
allow us to explore strengths in depth with clients.
Keywords: Interviewing, strengths perspective, counseling
Mental health professionals have long embraced
interviewing as an important way of gathering
information. There is a long history of the use of
interviewing in making diagnostic decisions and better
understanding client problems. More recently, greater
attention has been placed on giving client strengths and
resources “equal space, equal time, equal emphasis”
(Lopez, Snyder & Rasmussen; 2003, p. 17) as problems
and psychopathology in the interviewing process.
Including strengths is important for several reasons. One
is that when adults recognize children and youths’
strengths, they are more likely to actively take part in the
assessment process and later treatment (Epstein,
Hertzog, & Reid, 2001; Murphy, 2015 Nickerson &
Fishman, 2013). Gathering information about strengths
also broadens the focus of assessment to include
recognizing and building competence rather than only
reducing problem behaviors (Nickerson, 2007; Epstein et
al., 2001). This is important because although reducing
the negative impact of problems is important, evidence
suggests that the presence of personal and social
competence in children is a better predictor of
functioning later in adulthood than the reduction of
symptoms alone (Kohlberg, Ricks, & Snarey, 1972; 1984).
Given this, there is a strong argument to include
assessing and building strengths as part of the counseling
Interviewing for strengths is the mirror image of
interviewing children about their problems. When
interviewing for strengths, counselors make use of the
same communication skills important in clinical
interviewing or in psychotherapy or counseling. These
include the communication skills that emerge from what
has been described as a stance of not knowing (Anderson
& Goolishian, 1992). Anderson and Goolishian (1992)
describe not knowing as “…a general attitude or stance in
which the therapist’s actions communicate an abundant,
genuine curiosity” (p. 29). Skills that communicate this
curiosity exist on a continuum from relatively passive
skills such as nonverbal attending to more active
strategies like paraphrasing and accurately reflecting
feelings (See Table 1 below).
Table 1. Skills for Not Knowing
Less active >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>More active
• Ummm, okay,
sure, yes, wow!
In addition to these basic skills, interviewing for strengths
also requires a vocabulary of strengths. Although there is
no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (APA 2013) or
International Classification of Disease (WHO, 1993) for
January 2018, Volume 10, Issue 3, 315-321
strengths, there is abundant literature that offer at least a
tentative map of strengths. One source is positive
psychology (Seligman, 2004). Counselors and researchers
in positive psychology have developed assessments and
interventions that focus on increasing subjective well-
being or happiness by promoting the experience of
positive emotions (Fredrickson, 2001) or enhancing
qualities such as gratitude (Emmons & Stern, 2013), hope
(Pedrotti, Edwards, & Lopez, 2008) or optimism (Gillham,
Reivich, & Shatté, 2001).
A second important contribution to a map of strengths is
resilience (Masten, 2014). Research on resilience grew out
of research with children whose parents had serious
mental illnesses (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000). The
finding that many of these children did well in life despite
the challenges they faced led researchers to a set of social
and psychological factors that seemed to promote
positive outcomes among children who had faced
adversities such as poverty or abuse (e.g., Garmezy, 1993;
Masten & Curtis, 2000; Rutter, 2013). Researchers found
that although it was true that children exposed to these
adversities often have more psychosocial problems than
those who were not exposed, the large majority still grew
up to lead productive adult lives (e.g., Benard, 2004;
Werner & Smith, 2001; Cicchetti, Rogosch, Lynch, & Holt,
Masten (2014) has argued there are basic psychosocial
systems that, when functioning well, are universally
protective of human development and form the core of
resilience. These dynamic adaptive systems include: 1)
attachment and close relationships; 2) intelligence,
ingenuity, and problem solving; 3) self-regulation and self-
direction; 4) mastery motivation and sense of personal
agency; and 5) faith, hope and belief that life has meaning
(pp.147-164). Using similar language, Benard (2004)
proposes two broad categories of resilience: personal
strengths, and environmental protective factors. Personal
strengths include: 1) social competence, 2) problem
solving, 3) autonomy, and 4) sense of purpose.
Environmental protective factors can be found in families,
communities, or schools and include: 1) caring
relationships; 2) clear and positive expectations by family
members, educators, and community members for
achievement; and 3) opportunities to take part, contribute
and give back (Benard, 2004).
If strengths are to be taken seriously, they must be
systematically recognized and named. Although we do
not have a DSM or ICD for strenghts, positive psychology
and research on resilience offer a guide for what to look
for when interviewing for strengths. These can be
1. The quality of relationships with peers and
2. The presence of cognitive or academic
3. The presence of aspirations, goals, and plans
4. The sense that despite adversity, there is a
purpose to life
5. A sense of agency or confidence in the ability to
affect life and meet one’s goals
Developing an Ear for Strengths
A prerequisite for assessing client strengths is to adopt
the assumption that every student, family, or community
has resources and capacities (Saleebey, 2008). We listen
for and pay attention to what we believe is important in
an assessment. If we assume that strengths are present,
even if they are not easy to identify because they are
obscured by problems, we become more curious about
what might be beyond the presenting difficulties and
investigate how client strengths contribute to their lives
and how they can be used to improve their
In addition to a strengths perspective, we must also have
tools that can be used to unpack and better understand
strengths once we have become curious about them.
Saleebey (2008) discusses eight kinds of questions that
help name and elaborate on strengths. These include : 1)
perspective questions, 2) change questions, 3) meaning
questions, 4) survival questions, 5) support questions, 6)
possibility questions, 7) exception questions, and 8)
esteem questions (p. 73).
When counselors are curious about children’s
perspectives, they encourage autonomy and competence
by signaling that what they themselves think or feel about
their situations is important. This insider perspective is
also critical in interviewing because it adds information
about how different stakeholders (e.g., parents, teachers,
students) view a situation and what they view as
important. The insider perspective not only offers
ecological validity for information from other sources
such as school records, tests, or questionnaires, but it
also facilitates a collaborative working relationship.
Respect for the insider perspective offers a
counterbalance to the expert knowledge that counselors
bring to a situation.
Perspective question such as the ones below offer a
useful starting place for a discussion of strengths:
• “What are your thoughts about how you got to
• “What have you been successful at so far?”
• “How did you make those successes happen?”
Change questions are an extension of perspective
questions. As part of the strengths perspective, we also
assume that our clients, no matter how young or
disturbed, are always trying to cope with their challenges
even if they appear to have been unsuccessful so far.
Rooted in these efforts are clients’ theories of change
(Duncan & Miller, 2000). The assumption that clients have
been working on their problems in some way long before
we interview them leads us to be curious about what they
have done so far and, more importantly, what they have
done that worked, if only in small ways (De Jong & Kim
Interviewing for Strengths / Hass
Berg, 2013; Duncan & Miller, 2000). These questions
• “What have you done to try to make things
better? Have those things worked, even a little
• “What do you think might make things better?”
• “Lots of time, kids have good ideas about how to
solve a problem. What do you think would
Meaning questions are also an extension of perspective
questions. They try to get at what values, beliefs, or goals
clients find important. Some of these are of course
cultural and involve values or beliefs that the person
views as shared by members of a particular community.
These might include respect for elders, expectations for
gender roles, the role of education in success in life, etc.
Other beliefs arise from unique personal experiences that
lead to what cognitive behavioral therapists refer to as
core beliefs (Creed, Resiweber & Beck, 2011). Creed et al.
describe core beliefs as the foundation for how we view
ourselves, relate to others and experience the world
(2011). These values and beliefs can be both adaptive or
limiting, depending on the context. In an investigation of
strengths, the focus is on beliefs that are or could be a
source of resilience. Meaning questions include:
• “What are the most important things about
school for you?”
• “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
• “What do you think is most important in life?”
Survival questions are also known as coping questions (De
Jong & Kim Berg, 2013). They refocus attention away from
feeling overwhelmed in the face of seemingly
insurmountable challenges toward clients’ efforts at
coping with these adversities. Again, a strengths
perspective leads counselors to assume that clients are
always coping in one way or another, even it is just to be
passive or withdrawn in the face of adversity. Survival
questions are windows into potential strengths and
resilience. It is important to understand that although
these efforts at coping may not seem completely
successful, they may have been helpful in small ways that
can be built upon in developing plans and interventions.
When asking survival questions, it is important to first
acknowledge that things have been difficult, even
overwhelming. These acknowledgements serve to
normalize clients’ experiences and communicate that
their thoughts and feelings are unsurprising given the
circumstances they face.
The simplest way of starting a conversation about survival
or coping is to ask, “What has helped so far?” (De Jong &
Kim Berg, 2013). Other questions include:
• “That sounds really tough. How have you
managed to deal with all that?”
• “Wow, I am amazed you even got out of bed
today and made it to school. How did you
• “Given all that is going on, I am not surprised
you feel overwhelmed. I wonder if anything has
helped, even if only a little bit?”
An important way in which clients cope is to access social
support. The importance of social support is one of the
most consistent findings in research on resilience (e.g.,
Masten, 2014; Benard, 2004; Werner & Smith, 2001).
Seeking social support begins early in development with
attachment to a parent or caregiver and expands as
children grow older to include adults and peers in
schools, neighborhoods, and community institutions
(Masten, 2014). Support questions include:
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