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The values in action character strengths model in addiction recovery: a case study

Lisa Ogilvie (Department of Psychology, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 6 April 2022

Issue publication date: 6 July 2022




The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the values in action (VIA) character strengths model can be applied as a resource to support people in addiction recovery. The purpose of this is to appreciate the positive outcomes seen in other areas of research, applied to addiction recovery. To achieve this, a character strengths intervention has been designed and delivered as a case study. The objective of the intervention is to identify some of the strengths described by an individual in their account of recovery, ascertain their signature strengths through validated assessment and, based on the exploration of this information, support the individual in a reflective exercise to consider how their character strengths have positively affected their recovery to date and the effect this new knowledge could have on their ongoing recovery.


The VIA character strengths model has identified 24 positive qualities that are present in the human condition. In this case study, the VIA model is used to identify strengths from a first-hand account of the recovery process; the VIA character strengths survey is used to ascertain the signature strengths of the participant who is also the author of the account. Information from the strengths identification and VIA survey is explored, and a follow-up e-interview is conducted using questions designed to encourage the participant to reflect on the use of strengths in their present and ongoing recovery.


This case study shows that the VIA model of character strengths can be applied in addiction recovery to help people appreciate how they have used their character strengths in the recovery process, what their signature strengths are and how they can be used with good effect to improve their well-being and future recovery.


In this work, a new broad-spectrum approach using the VIA model of character strengths has been proposed to help people in addiction recovery use their own resources to improve their function, well-being and thus recovery.



The author would like to thank John Nelson for his important and valued contribution to this work and Professor Jerome Carson for his invaluable support in seeing it come to fruition.


Ogilvie, L. (2022), "The values in action character strengths model in addiction recovery: a case study", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 177-186.



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