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  Strengths Based Model

Options began using the Strengths Model of case management in 2001. This model has a proven track record of effectiveness and incorporates values which Options feels are essential in providing consumer-centered services. (Consumer is short for consumer of mental health services.)

The basic premise behind the Strengths Model is as follows: People with psychiatric disabilities respond to the same positive reinforcement to which all people respond. By supporting and enhancing the inherent strengths and skills that each individual person possesses, including their connections to the community at large, the case manager supports and enhances a path to functionality and interdependence within that community.

This philosophy of practice is different than the traditional model of problem fixing for mental health consumers. In the traditional model, problems are identified and targeted with a magic bullet solution; consumers are dependent upon the mental health care system and are excluded from interaction with the surrounding community. In the Strengths Model, strengths are identified and utilized to empower consumers. In order to connect to personal and community resources, consumers are seen inclusively as holistic beings, inherently integrated with the community.

This inclusive perception allows possibilities, rather than problems, to be the focus of care. Strengths Model service providers work in partnership with the consumer, viewing the relationship as human-to-human, rather than professional-to-patient.

Strengths Model Traditional Model
Fosters independence Fosters dependence
Community Based Agency Based
Enhances Skills Focuses on Illness

The Strengths Model has preferred methods of service delivery:

There are five essential methods used in the model:

  1. Engagement and relationship
  2. Strengths assessment
  3. Personal planning
  4. Resource Acquisition
  5. Continuous collaboration and graduated disengagement

This model has produced measurable results, beyond those of the traditional model. Options Case Managers, clients and staff have all experienced a deep satisfaction and feeling of enthusiasm at the effectiveness of this caring and human based model of care.

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