From Strength to Strength: A Manual to Inspire and Guide Strength-based Intervention with Young People

Youth Now Canada

Co-written: Benjamin Roebuck, Maryann Roebuck, Jenny Roebuck



Staff members implementing the strength-based approach create a balance between safety and freedom. They create a positive and calm environment where young people are free to exercise personal control by making choices that are not imposed. Staff may assist young people to consider multiple options within the framework of healthy boundaries.

Brendtro (2004) describes this element of strength-based interventions as “growth-enhancing environments.” These environments minimize risks for physical and psychological harm, such as preventing bullying by other peers or staff.

A therapeutic environment is:

  • safe and secure,
  • structured in a way that allows young people to exercise self-control,
  • consistent,
  • respectful of individuality,
  • designed to provide opportunities for young people to use their strengths.

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