Homework Week 2 (Wellness and Recovery Promotion)

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    Kristen Erickson

     Please Note: Do the exercise(s) before you answer the homework questions.


    Pick one domain from the Strengths Assessment Domains and Questions that interests you. Answer 2-3 of the questions associated with that domain that you think will help you identify the skills, abilities, competencies, talents, and strengths of your lived experience in this domain. If you don’t self-identify as being in recovery, substitute “in your life” or “wellness” as appropriate in the questions.


    Strengths Assessment Domains and Questions
    Home and daily living:

    Tell me about your current living situation.

    What do you like about your current living situation?

    What would you say makes this living situation a home for you?

    What are the most important daily living activities that you engage in that contribute to your home life?



    How have you supported yourself (and your family) financially in the past?

    What is important to you regarding your current financial situation?

    Where would you like yourself (and your family) to be financially in 5 or 10 years?


    Employment, education, and specialized knowledge:

    What kinds of formal or informal educational activities or job training have you completed that would help you get a job, return to work, or get a promotion?

    What interested you in this kind of learning experience?

    What kinds of formal or informal educational activities or job training would you like to participate in in the future?

    What kinds of jobs have you had in the past and what kinds of job skills do you have related to those jobs?

    What is the best job you ever had? What made it the best job?

    What is your ideal job? What would make it your ideal job?


    Supportive relationships:

    Tell me about the people (and pets) in your life who support you in your recovery.

    How does (name the person or pet) help you through rough times?

    What does (name the person or pet) appreciate about your efforts to maintain recovery?

    What kinds of social connections and activities support your recovery?

    What do you mean by family?

    How is family support important to you in your recovery?


    Health & wellness:    

    What are some of the strategies you use to manage your health issues?

    What does wellness mean to you?

    What activities help you reduce stress; feel physically, emotionally, and mentally well; and support your recovery?

    What social connections/activities help you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally well?

    What are some ways you imagine you could improve your health and enhance wellness (as you understand it)?


    Leisure and recreation:         

    What do you do for fun?

    How do you play?

    Tell me about some of your favorite activities that help you relax.

    Tell me about the activities that help you enhance your social life.

    What are some of your favorite creative pursuits?


    Spirituality and culture:        

    How are spiritual or religious beliefs, values, customs, and community important to you?

    What brings meaning and purpose to your life?

    What sustains you during difficult or stressful times?

    What kinds of cultural customs, rituals, values, and beliefs are important to you and support your recovery?

    Tell me about some of the spiritual or religious practices or activities that are important to you and support your recovery.

    Tell me about how being a part of a spiritual or religious group or community might be important to you and your recovery.

    Source: Rapp, C. A., & Goscha, R. J. (2012). The strengths model: A recovery-oriented approach to mental health services (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


    Now reflect on the hopes and dreams for growth or change in this domain of your life. Identify one hope or goal and do a 5 minute mindful write (i.e. write down your thoughts without editing) on how the strengths you have identified can help you achieve a recovery or wellness goal in your own life.


    Homework Questions

    Please Note: While answering the homework questions please only share personal information or specific responses to the homework exercises you feel comfortable sharing. It is up to you to decide how much or how little to disclose. Please respect the privacy and confidentiality of clients and others in your sharing.

    1. What are your general reactions to this exercise of identifying strengths and reflecting on how a strength can help you achieve a recovery or wellness goal?
    2. What did you discover about your own strengths that might have been previously hidden from view?
    3. How would you or have you used a strengths assessment to help consumers identify their strengths and uncover their hopes and dreams?


    Post your answers by clicking the reply button. Make sure you keep a copy of your responses in a text file on your computer in case there is a problem submitting your comments. There is no way of retrieving the data once it is submitted. Thanks.

    Click here to go back to course after you have submitted your assignment:

    back to course


    I think identifying strengths is difficult for most people in recovery. It is empowering once a person can actually start listing them and see it in front of you.

    Amy Mihill

    I appreciated this exercise as I was able to recognize personal strengths that I never really considered as strengths and ways that my life has improved over the course of time in many areas. Also, after considering different positive domain areas and ways that I have progressed toward meeting different life goals, I felt less overwhelmed and better able to imagine ways that I might improve my health-an area that needs some attention.

    I have discussed client’s strengths when doing comprehensive assessments with them, but didn’t spend as much time focusing on their strengths as I will going forward. I will definitely spend more time encouraging clients to reflect on and discuss what they feels is going well in their lives (strengths) and what past accomplishments they have achieved before discussing their goals.

    Robin Green

    I chose the financial domain as my homework
    My general reaction was that of discovering I have placed a great deal.of.my own self worth on my ability bro be financially independent and able to support myself and live a comfortable.life while.doing so
    I find great pride.in knowing that myself.and my family are comfortable and that some day retirement will be a reality and will be filled with activities of enjoyment.
    To help others find their own strength is important, I feel that others will benefit from.being able to identify their own ability to support themselves and their own benchmark of what “support” looks like for them and understanding.that this may be a fluid process rather than a static one.


    1. I realize in answering the questions that I was more focused on the positive outcome than on the negative barriers which tends to lend itself to forward motion in a plan. Due to the stress of my everyday work I can see that being focused on positive and strengths certainly would be more motivating than identifying all the reasons the goal cannot be achieved.
    2. I was able to recognize in answering these questions that I have more strengths in these coping skills than I thought I did. I also recognize I am on who easily is caught up in the negative which can certainly bog me down and make me feel defeated, even when the picture isn’t as bleak as I think it is. Reframing would be a good skill for me to practice on the daily basis to try to shift the internal narrative.
    3. I can see from working through this lesson that shifting our initial assessment to a more strengths focused one would help us to elicit more strengths on the front end versus being shown clearly the weakness/illness in full view. It also allows the opportunity for us to be focused more on the autonomy of the client to pave their own path versus us as clinicians feeling the need to caretake/protect the clients from their “illness”. I think it’s common in SUD work to be ultra focused on all the harm the use has caused and there’s a great deal of traction we could gain from focusing more on the resiliency and how that can foster the actualization fo hopes and dreams.

    Robert Hussey

    I like how the categorical questions help provide some guidance and structure to the writing exercise. The guided questions helped me think about recognizing the goals, situations, and perceived change as positives and strengths. I tend to downplay my strengths or I just do not recognize them as perceived strengths. I am more of a pessimist and less of an optimist. The categories are also a helpful reminder of self-care. People may not recognize what they have as being considered strengths until they find the time to examine themselves. Helping clients identify their strengths, dreams, and motivations will help them understand themselves and what they need to do to reach their goals.

    Stacy Ladakakos

    Home and daily living:
    Tell me about your current living situation.
    Currently I live in Saco as a first time home owner. The home is in a beautiful area but a bit of a fixer upper.

    What do you like about your current living situation? I love the area a great deal and I like that a large number of the items to be fixed are DIY friendly. I can easily envision the home becoming my dream home.

    What would you say makes this living situation a home for you? The need for repairs brought down the price of the home. With each repair the overall state of the house approaches dream home status. It is manageable and obtainable.

    What are the most important daily living activities that you engage in that contribute to your home life? Learning to trust in myself to complete tasks and skills not previously used. Having common sense and knowing those that need to be completed by a professional. Having rented homes previously and having to move due to circumstances out of my control is what drew me to home ownership. Putting in hard work and a sense of security over the longevity of my living environment.

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