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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Strengths-Based and Solutions-Focused Approaches to Practice

Strengths-Based and Solutions-Focused Approaches to Practice

(p.789) 73 Strengths-Based and Solutions-Focused Approaches to Practice
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Rosemary Chapin

Holly Nelson-Becker

Kelley Macmillan

Oxford University Press

The strengths perspective is a philosophical standpoint that focuses on the inherent resilience in human nature that undergirds much of social work practice. This perspective is especially applicable to work with older adults, who have a lifetime of rich experience that can be used to address current difficulty. Strengths-based and solution-focused approaches are both rooted in the belief that capacity rather than pathology should be the primary focal point of the helping process. This chapter discusses both the strengths perspective and the strategic approaches. It first presents frameworks of strengths-based principles and solution-focused principles commonly used with older adult populations within a larger strengths perspective. Second, applications of these approaches in various settings are discussed in order to broaden comprehension of the uses of each approach.

Keywords:   strengths-based, solution-focused approach, elderly, social work practice, strengths perspective

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