Position of Strength: Our View


Championing a Strength-Based Approach

We believe is a strength-based perspective that recognizes and celebrates the inherent strengths, resilience, and capabilities of our service members, veterans, and their families.

This perspective, a transformative challenge to conventional practices that label people by their deficits and dysfunctions, or cast them as helpless or victims, emphasizes resilience, resolve, and resourcefulness. It encourages viewing challenges as temporary circumstances that provide opportunities for support to move away from defining people by their traumas or adversities. In this light, the strengths-based approach is crucial for empowering people, particularly service members, and veterans, who belong to a culture of altruism (putting the needs of others above their own), resilience (being able to recover from setbacks), adaptability (overcoming challenges), honor (a moral code of being responsible), and integrity (being self-driven and self-regulating).

Depicting service members and veterans as weak or victims can have profound negative consequences, including:

  • Stigmatization: Such portrayal can perpetuate stigma around seeking help, particularly for mental health, reinforcing harmful stereotypes that equate addressing circumstances and needs with weakness.
  • Undermining Resilience: A narrative focused on weakness fails to recognize and nurture the inherent resilience and capabilities of these brave and capable individuals.
  • Eroding Self-Efficacy: Viewing and treating individuals as victims can erode their sense of self-efficacy, further hindering their ability to manage their situation.

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families consciously rejects this weakness-based narrative, recognizing instead the resilience and strength inherent in our service members, veterans, and their families. Our strength-based approach includes:

  • Recognizing Resilience: Acknowledging the unique skills and perseverance developed through military service and life experiences.
  • Promoting Empowerment: Designing services that encourage individuals to recognize and utilize their strengths.
  • Fostering Growth and Development: Believing in the potential for positive change and aiding individuals in further developing their capabilities.
  • Creating a Supportive Environment: Offering a space where seeking support is viewed as a positive and courageous step towards personal well-being and growth.

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families is steadfast in its commitment to a strength-based approach, honoring the dignity, strength, and resilience of service members, veterans, and their families. We are dedicated to providing support services in a way that honors the courage and resilience of Arizona’s military and veteran community.

Warm regards,
Thomas Winkel
Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families

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