What is Strengths-Based Therapy?

There are a few approaches that are used to treat communication disorders. One is the strengths-based approach which focuses on what the child’s strengths are to help them in areas that they struggle with. The main components of this approach include: 

1) Child-led therapy 

2) Identifying and using their specific strengths in therapy

3) Presume competence. 

Once the child’s strengths are identified, we can then implement those strengths into therapy sessions to help build connection and enhance participation. By meeting the child “where they are at” we are taking into account their current abilities. We also presume competence. Meaning that we assume the child has the ability to learn, think, and understand. 

This approach does not use ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) principles. Behavior is communication and it serves a purpose for the child. Our job as therapists is to determine the function of the behavior and offer support to help the child communicate their needs in a more productive way. When we use the child’s strengths during therapy, we show them that what they enjoy is important to us. That is how connection can begin!