Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice

Who We Are

Our History

The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice (Inc) was founded in 2006 to support approaches that promote resilience as opposed to dealing with deficits.

We are a group of people from a range of professional backgrounds such as social work, psychology, education and management that believe, work with and advocate strengths based practices. 

We recognise that the strength based movement is gaining impetus globally, with people from diverse backgrounds attracted to this inward looking practice, whether it be teachers utilising such strategies with their students, helping professionals engaging with clients to fulfil their potential, or employers and HRD Managers utilising strength based performance appraisals with their employers.

 What are SBP?

Strengths-based practice is an approach that focuses on identifying and leveraging the strengths, assets, and resources of individuals, families, communities, and organizations. It is a philosophy and way of working that emphasizes the positive aspects of individuals and their environments, rather than solely focusing on their deficits, weaknesses, or problems. The strengths-based approach recognizes that everyone possesses unique strengths, talents, abilities, and resources that can be harnessed to promote growth, resilience, and positive change.

The key principles of strengths-based practice

“A strengths-based perspective sees people as valuable contributors to a team or community who are capable, resilient, and accountable.   The language that we would work through will be less descriptive of deficits. As workers we would invest time in the workshop in personal reflections foreseeing effective changes in our work with people when we deploy a language and a process that would even impact on us., while bringing positivity, all around. This approach is supported by a conviction that all people have innate recovering abilities inherent in their bodies and that their emotions have a significant impact on their general health and wellbeing.  We begin to see that everyone is born with abilities to get through hardships because of the human body’s resiliency and intelligence.

We begin to acknowledge   that people exist within complex systems and wade through many social circumstances. In this approach we consider the environmental, cultural, and societal aspects that influence an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the larger context in which they function.

Together we aim to build optimism, active hope and resiliency.  Our processes assist individuals and institutions in recognising their capacity for growth and change, creating confidence and belief in their ability to overcome obstacles.  

We acknowledge the uniqueness of each individual and their specific circumstances. It considers the entire individual, including physical, emotional, social, and cultural components. Individual strengths and needs are used to design interventions and support.

 We also utilise Appreciative Inquiry is a practice that entails deliberately searching out and enhancing positive experiences, successes, and accomplishments. It encourages people to think about their prior triumphs and how they might be duplicated or built upon in the present and future.  Thus, strengths-based practice is used in a variety of professions, including social work, counselling, education, community development, healthcare, and organisational management. It is used to improve well-being, empowerment, and positive change in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, community centres, workplaces, and therapeutic interventions.” (Pulla, 2017).

Strengths-based practice finds application in various fields such as social work, counseling, education, community development, healthcare, and organizational management. It is utilized in diverse settings, including schools, hospitals, community centers, workplaces, and therapeutic interventions, to enhance well-being, empowerment, and positive change.

Venkat Pulla

President and Foundation Professor

Venkat Pulla, MA, PhD, is an Indian-born Australian Human Services Mgt Consultant and motivational speaker. He offers training in Strength’s approach to human services. and offers grounded theory and research writing Master Classes globally.

He utilizes Appreciative Inquiry in Middle and Senior Management Training in Strategic Leadership and attended a six-week OvationNet AI Workshop under the workshop leadership of David Cooperrider, in the Spring of 2011.

He has been the Head of the School of Social Work, at Northern Territory University, taught At Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt & and the Sunshine Coast, tutored at Griffith and the Queensland University of Technology, and offered fieldwork supervision at Monash and James Cook University.

He is a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) (adjunct) at the Gulbali Research Institute, Charles Sturt University (CSU), and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the College of Arts, Society, & Education, James Cook University, and former SRF, at the Institute of Land, Water, and Society at CSU. His private practice includes accreditation, curriculum design, internationalization, and twinning Higher education institutes. He is a Tata Dorabji Merit scholar from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India).
Research interests: Human coping and resilience; green social work.

He has co-edited volumes on Strengths-based practice

 – Perspectives on Coping and Resilience

 – Theories, experiences, and Challenges in Community Work,

 – Advancing Social Work in mental health through Strengths-based Practice

Some Aspects of Community Empowerment and Resilience,

 – Lhotsampa People of Bhutan-Resilience and Survival

Discrimination, Challenge, and Response

 As an academic, he makes significant contributions to Social Work Education in SAARC countries.

He has published with Sage, Routledge, Macmillan, Palgrave, and Wilfred Laurier Press in Canada; Primrose Hall in the UK and Australia; Fernwood, California, and others in Asia. 

He is a recipient of the NAPSWI-India Lifetime Achievement Award 2015, and the Karma Vir Puraskar-Global Indian Social Worker Award 2008. 

He is the Principal of Impetus Global Consulting.
Scopus Author ID: 56007950700

India’s the Most Prestigious Civilian Award for Social Work – Karmaveer Puraskaar 2008

Dr.Venkat Pulla being presented the ‘Karmaveer Puraskar’ by Mr. Krishna Murthy, Former Election Commissioner of India

Recipient of the NAPSWI-India Lifetime Achievement Award 2015, and the Karma Vir Puraskar-Global Indian Social Worker Award 2008.