Purpose: The field of psychiatry has conventionally employed a medical model in
which mental health disorders are diagnosed and treated. However, the evidence is amassing
that using a strengths-based approach that promotes wellness by engaging the patient’s assets
and interests may work in synergy with the medical model to promote recovery. This harmonizes
with the patient-centered care model that has been promoted by the Institute of Medicine.
Methods: The article uses a clinical case to highlight the attributes of a strength-based model
in the psychiatric treatment of adolescents.
Results: Outcome metrics from a number of studies have demonstrated enhanced youth and
parent satisfaction and decreased use of hospital level of care with the implementation of
strengths-based therapeutic modalities.
Implications: Incorporating strengths-based interventions into conventional psychiatric practice
provides a multi-faceted treatment approach that promotes recovery in children and adolescents
with psychiatric disorders.