In the English language, what is the longest word that contains only one vowel? The answer is s-t-r-e-n-g-t-h. We often think of strength as a physical attribute, one associated with muscle, power, and physique. In the context of client/patient work in the health professions, client strengths are critically important character traits. In one of our blogs a few months ago – Getting to the Core of your Clients – we talked about the importance of penetrating to the core of who clients are – who they be at their core. A major component of clients’ core qualities are their strengths. Motivating clients with MI techniques and concepts necessitates that we learn to recognize and work with client strengths; seeing those strengths and utilizing them in your sessions is vital to MI, to relationship- and trust-building and to moving from status talk to change talk and eventually into action (when clients are ready). Often we see these strengths but we don’t name them overtly or chart them. We recommend that you do more than observe those strengths; keep track of them. What kinds of qualities are client strengths? They are endless and client-specific. For example: passion, commitment, creativity, observant, insightful, independent, situational awareness, magnetism, decision-making skills to name only a very few. Listen for how these strengths are revealed. In what ways is each strength shown or expressed? In what ways does each strength serve your client? What acknowledgement or affirmation might you provide as feedback to your client for each strength? What is your observation of the impact on your client when you affirm a strength quality? Character strength is a huge reservoir for motivating clients and working with them toward the changes they seek.