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Strength-Centered Counseling

Strength-Centered Counseling
Integrating Postmodern Approaches and Skills With Practice

June 2010 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Integrates the most popular and most used counseling techniques into current teaching and practice. This text provides a frameworkfor the synthesis of postmodern theories of counseling. The cutting-edge Strength Centered Counseling model can be incorporated effectively with the more traditional models of counseling, resolving the ambiguity about how postmodernism fits into every day practice and results in more direct application of knowledge and skill sets for training in counselor education. Authors Colin Ward and Teri Reuter offer a practical and straightforward resource that presents clients with opportunities to look at life not only from a context of problems and adversity; but also of solutions, strengths, and hope.
1. The Essence of Strength-Centered Counseling
Principle One: A Shared Understanding

Principle Two: Shared Respect

Principle Three: Shared Strengths

Principle Four: Shared Resilience

Principle Five: Shared Dichotomies

Principle Six: Shared Language

Principle Seven: Shared Wellness

Principle Eight: Shared Hope

Principle Nine: Shared Authenticity

2. Emergence of Postmodernism
Modern Approaches

Postmodern Approaches

Professional Growth Activities

3. Postmodern Counseling
Solution Focuses Counseling

Narrative Counseling

Motivational Interviewing

Professional Growth Activities

4. Central Role of Language in Strength-Centered Counseling
Language and Meaning

Reality and Strength-Centered Language

Strength-Centered Vocabulary Competence

Dialectics of Pathology and Possibility

Incorporating a Strength-Centered Vocabulary

Professional Growth Activities

Phase One: Shared Understanding
5. The Stance
An Attitude of Empathetic Curiosity

A Stance of Acceptance

An Appreciation for Ambivalence

Professional Growth Activities

Counselor Interview and Reflection Guide--Shared Understanding: The Stance

6. The Steps
Step One: Problem Perception

Step Two: Struggle Perception

Step Three: Strength Perception

Step Four: Dichotomy Perception

Step Five: Hope Perception

Professional Growth Activities

Counselor Interview and Reflection Guide--Shared Understanding: The Steps

Phase Two: Contracted Change
7. Envisioning a Preferred Life
Perception of the Preferences

Solution Efforts

The Miracle, the Dream, and the Future

The Road Ahead

Building a Readiness

Professional Growth Activities

Counselor Interview and Reflection Guide--Contracted Change: A Preferred Life

8. Understanding Goals
Scaling Steps of Action

Follow-Up Suggestions

The Theory of Holes

Professional Growth Activities

Counselor Interview and Reflection Guide--Contracted Change: Understanding Goals

Phase Three: Developed Lifestyle
9. Understanding Personal Wellness
Integrating Strengths and Wellness

Introducing Wellness

Envisioning Wellness

Professional Growth Activities

10. Practicing Personal Preferences
Integrating Wellness

Maintaining Preferences

Counselor Interview and Reflection Guide--Developed Lifestyle: Understanding Personal Wellness

11. Becoming a Competent Strength-Centered Counselor
Themes of Professional Development

Strength-Centered Competence Continuum

Professional Growth Activities

12: A Strength-Centered Counselor's Survival Guide
Essential Principles of Strength-Centered Counseling

Living Out the Essential Principles of Strength-Centered Counseling

A Professional Plan for Hope and Wellness

Finding a Hope in a Problem-Centered World

Appendix A: Change Plan Worksheet
Appendix B: Strength-Centered Counselor Stance Interview and Reflection Guide
Appendix C: Engages Curiosity: Phase One - Interview Guide
Appendix D: Contracted Change: Phase Two - Interview Guide
Appendix E: Scaling for Wellness Understanding - Informal Interview Format
Appendix F: Strength Cards
About the Authors

Up to date and informative, as well as easy to read.

Ms Sharon Martin
Humanities, Emdpire State College
November 24, 2010

Colin C. Ward

Colin Ward’s Strength-Centered Counseling reflects over two decades of clinical and academic experience. Frustrated by the limitations of traditional approaches to counseling for influencing enduring change with clients, Dr. Ward sought out additional training in postmodern approaches. He continued, both in school and private practice settings, discovering the phases of Strength-Centered Counseling and then developing effective techniques and interventions for working with clients to engage hope, identify strengths, and develop resilient life patterns. Dr. Ward is currently a counselor educator and supervisor at Central Michigan University... More About Author

Teri Reuter

Teri Reuter's wide range of professional and personal experiences have led her to believe in the transformational power of a Strength-Centered approach to counseling. Ms. Reuter has taught Communication courses at the university level for over twenty years, and in that time, she and her family have lived in many different places, both in the United States and Europe. Living in, working in, and adjusting to these varied cultures has helped her recognize the value of identifying one's own strengths and developing resiliency. In collaborating with Colin Ward, Ms. Reuter has refined her philosophies into practical guidelines to help her and... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412973298

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