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Narrative Counseling in Schools

Narrative Counseling in Schools
Powerful & Brief

Second Edition

December 2006 | 208 pages | Corwin

"What a gift to education! By practicing the ideas in this book, school counselors everywhere can help create new descriptions and stories that will transform the academic lives and behaviors of their students."
—Linda Metcalf, Author
Counseling Toward Solutions and Solution–Focused School Counseling

Promote students' respect for themselves and others through narrative interventions!

Narrative counseling is based on the premise that stories, rather than hard-nosed realities, shape our lives. By changing the stories that negatively label and define students, we help them open up new avenues and opportunities.

In this second edition of their best-selling book, John Winslade and Gerald Monk present even more case studies, guidance, and examples of counseling practice to help students narrate stories that "redescribe" who they are and can be. Mindful that today's busy counselors need effective and brief techniques, the authors make plain the steps with which counselors can externalize problems and draw out student self-knowledge to inform new ways of identifying and behaving. Updated throughout, this new edition offers:

  • An exploration of ethically sound accountability practices
  • Potential obstacles and suggestions for overcoming them
  • Guidance to help students set goals
  • Applications of narrative ideas to restorative justice
  • An expanded section on group work, specifically focusing on anger management and grief counseling

Grounded in a deep respect for students, this book's principles and practices will enable students to choose for themselves the new reputations by which they'll be known.

About the Authors
1. What Is Narrative Counseling All About?
We Live Through Stories

A Narrative Counseling Scenario

2. Doing Narrative Counseling: A Step-by-Step Guide
A Learning Guide

Obstacles to Narrative Practice

Counselor as Collaborator

Starting Assumptions

Attitudes to Bring Into the Room

Specific Narrative Methods

3. Reworking Reputations
The Discourse of Schooling

School Descriptions

The Power of the Teacher

Deficit Discourse


4. Conversations With Kids Who Are "In Trouble"
Trouble With Stealing

Trouble in the Classroom

Trouble With ADHD: A SMART Approach

Trouble With Abusive Behavior

Trouble With Truancy

Trouble Enrolling a New Student

Restorative Practices

Counseling and Discipline

5. Working in a Narrative Way With Groups, Classes, and Communities: Beyond an Exclusive Focus on the Individiual
Accountability Practices

Working With the Larger School Community

Building Communities of Concern

Group Work Programs

Working With a Whole Class

Classroom Guidance Lessons

Starting Conversations With a School

Reading List

"What a gift to education! By practicing the ideas in this book, school counselors everywhere can help create new descriptions and stories that will transform the academic lives and behaviors of their students. Not only will schools be practicing what they have been preaching in the way of promoting respect from their students, they will receive that respect back in return."

Linda Metcalf, Author
Counseling Toward Solutions
Key features
  • Offers step-by-step techniques to help counselors externalize student problems to eradicate self-blame and the effects of labeling
  • Includes new strategies to implement narrative methods in group work, intentional guidance programs, and community building
  • Provides new counseling scenarios, which highlight successful stories of narrative therapy with students
  • Addresses the accountability movement in school counseling, and how narrative practices fit
  • Demonstrates the importance of applying narrative principles not only in individual sessions, but in consultation with school staff and community members


For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483361932

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