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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 popular postmodern techniques within a model of
strength discovery and development

The counseling model presented in this book goes beyond traditional approaches by equipping mental health practitioners with strength-centered techniques and interventions. It also provides graduate students in counselor education programs a foundation while working in an effective broad-application model of counseling.

Authors Colin C. Ward and Teri Reuter resolve the ambiguity about how postmodernism fits into everyday practice and offer a cutting-edge text that presents the counseling knowledge and skills needed to assist individuals and families with embracing life's struggles not only from a context of problems and adversity, but also of solutions, strengths, and wellness.

This text is designed for mental health practitioners as well as counseling theories and skills related courses in counseling, psychology, and related fields.

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
Key features

Key Features

  • A Strength-Centeredness Model: The text provides a clear description of the three phases of strength-centered counseling with specific techniques and interventions.

  • Professional Growth Activities: Each chapter provides interactive experiences for developing a strength-centered perspective as well as counselor competencies.

  • Counselor Interview and Reflection Guides: Structural guidance for grasping and applying strength-centered counseling is provided at the end of each phase.

  • Strength Cards: Designed as a clinical resource, the tear-out cards assist with recognizing and eliciting strengths from clients.

  • The companion site at offers video clips, teaching tips, learning activities, and more.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412973298

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.