While it is important to enquire about and understand using patterns, it is equally important to ask the young person to provide clear examples of periods where they have not used, or refused an opportunity to use, the substance of their choice.
These examples can be used to strengthen self-efficacy of the young person and highlight their strengths and abilities. It is also useful for the practitioner to record such occasions so they can be presented back to the young person if or when things are not going so well. Encouraging the young person to recognise what they are doing well and positive aspects in their life can build confidence and self-efficacy that will support recovery and relapse prevention.
Once areas of strength or protective factors have been identified, these can be used to assist in planning relapse prevention. Are their specific activities or circumstances that provide the young person with reasons or motivation not to use their substance of choice and can these activities be expanded in their lives?