Practice first, theory later

Bretherton, Roger (2017) Practice first, theory later. PsycCRITIQUES / Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 62 (39). p. 7. ISSN 1554-0138


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A Review of Handbook of Strengths-Based Clinical Practices: Finding Common Factors by Jeffrey K. Edwards, Andy Young, and Holly J. Nikels (Eds.) New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017. 374 pp.
Handbook of Strengths-Based Clinical Practices: Finding Common Factors, an edited volume of 23 chapters, opens by outlining what is meant by strengths-based practice. The opening chapters introduce the reader to pioneers of the approach in therapeutic practice, health, and social care. One definition, provided by Lopez and Louis (2009), suggests that the strengths-based perspective “assumes that every individual has resources that can be mobilised towards success in many areas of life and is characterised by efforts to ‘label what is right’ within people and organisations” (p. 2). Another key characteristic of strengths-based practice is the renunciation of the medical model, with its overemphasis on problems without due attention to the strengths and positive qualities of those treated. Dennis Saleebey’s (2012) strengths-based approach to social work is especially prominent. Strengths-based practice, we are told, is not a recent development; practitioners have been operating in this way for over 130 years. It is a broad field, encompassing numerous disciplines and approaches that may not always be placed together but nevertheless bear some strong family resemblances.

Keywords:Positive Psychology, Character Strengths
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:30652
Deposited On:19 Feb 2018 11:59

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