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SAGE Publications
Strength-Centered Counseling: Integrating Postmodern Approaches and Skills With Practice / Edition 1

Strength-Centered Counseling: Integrating Postmodern Approaches and Skills With Practice / Edition 1

by Colin C. Ward, Teri Reuter


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412973298
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 06/25/2010
Pages: 201
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

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. He received his B.S. in Education and Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1983, his M.S. in Counseling from Winona State University in 1988, and his Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University in 1997. In addition to strength-centered counseling, his other interests include wellness counseling, school counselor training, advocacy and professional leadership, counseling supervision, family therapy, and public policy for promoting the counseling profession and social mental health.

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 other counselors work with clients in broadening their strengths and meet life challenges.

In 1989, Ms. Reuter graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Communication Studies, and in 1991 she earned an M.A. in Communication Processes and Disorders and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. She received her M.A. in Counseling from Oakland University in 2008. Currently, Teri Reuter is a counselor in Orlando, FL.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xii

Part I Foundations of Strength-Centered Counseling 1

Chapter 1 The Essence of Strength-Centered Counseling 3

Principle 1 Shared Understanding 5

Principle 2 Shared Respect 6

Principle 3 Shared Strengths 6

Principle 4 Shared Resilience 6

Principle 5 Shared Dichotomies 7

Principle 6 Shared Language 7

Principle 7 Shared Wellness 8

Principle 8 Shared Hope 8

Principle 9 Shared Authenticity 8

Chapter 2 Emergence of Postmodernism 11

Modern Approaches 11

Postmodern Approaches 12

Chapter 3 Postmodern Counseling 17

Solution-Focused Counseling 19

Narrative Counseling 21

Motivational Interviewing 21

Professional Growth Activity: Hope and Adversity 22

Chapter 4 Central Role of Language in Strength-Centered Counseling 23

Language and Meaning 23

Reality and Strength-Centered Language 24

Strength-Centered Vocabulary Competence 25

Dialectics of Pathology and Possibility 27

Incorporating a Strength-Centered Vocabulary 28

Positive Psychology 29

Strengths of Wisdom and Knowledge 30

Strengths of Courage 30

Strengths of Humanity and Love 30

Strengths of Justice 31

Strengths of Temperance 31

Strengths of Transcendence 31

Professional Growth Activity: Dialectical Nature of Pathology and Possibilities 32

Professional Growth Activity: Strength Awareness 33

Professional Growth Activity: Strength Language Reflections 33

Part II Phases of Strength-Centered Counseling 35

Phase 1 Shared Understanding 36

Chapter 5 The Stance 37

An Attitude of Empathic Curiosity 38

A Stance of Acceptance 40

An Appreciation for Ambivalence 41

Professional Growth Activity: The Complexities of Change 42

Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide 43

Shared Understanding: The Stance 43

Chapter 6 The Steps 45

Step 1 Problem Perception 45

Step 2 Struggle Perception 47

Step 3 Strength Perception 51

Step 4 Dichotomy Perception 55

Step 5 Hope Perception 57

Resilience 59

Professional Growth Activity: Strengths from Problems 62

Professional Growth Activity: Strength-Focused Role-Play 62

Professional Growth Activity: The Via 63

Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide 64

Shared Understanding: The Steps 64

Phase 2 Contracted Change 67

Chapter 7 Envisioning a Preferred Life 69

Perception of Preferences 70

Solution Efforts 72

The Miracle, the Dream, and the Future 74

The Road Ahead 78

Building a Readiness 80

Professional Growth Activity: A Miracle Day 83

Professional Growth Activity: Readiness Ruler 83

Professional Growth Activity: Eliciting a Preferred Life 84

Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide 84

Contracted Change: A Preferred Life 84

Chapter 8 Understanding Goals 87

Scaling Steps of Action 89

Follow-Up Suggestions 92

The Theory of Holes 93

Professional Growth Activity: Role-Play Contracted Change 94

Professional Growth Activity: Action Steps 94

Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide 95

Contracted Change: Understanding Goals 95

Phase 3 Developed Lifestyle 97

Chapter 9 Understanding Personal Wellness 99

Integrating Strengths and Wellness 101

Creative Self 103

Coping Self 104

Social Self 104

Physical Self 104

Essential Self 105

Introducing Wellness 105

Envisioning Wellness 107

Professional Growth Activity: Contemplating Counselor Wellness 110

Chapter 10 Practicing Personal Preferences 111

Practicing Wellness 111

Creative Self 113

Coping Self 114

Social Self 114

Physical Self 115

Essential Self 116

Maintaining Preferences 117

Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide 118

Developed Lifestyle: Understanding Personal Wellness 118

Part III Resilience for the Strength-Centered Counselor 123

Chapter 11 Becoming a Competent Strength-Centered Counselor 125

Themes of Counselor Development 126

Strength-Centered Competence Continuum 127

First Level: Deficit-Based Destructiveness 129

Second Level: Precompetence 129

Third Level: Competence 130

Professional Growth Activity: Assessing Readiness for Competence 131

Chapter 12 A Strength-Centered Counselor's Survival Guide 133

Focused Intentionality: The Nine Essential Principles 133

Principle 1 Shared Understanding 133

Principle 2 Shared Respect 134

Principle 3 Shared Strengths 135

Principle 4 Shared Resilience 136

Principle 5 Shared Dichotomies 137

Principle 6 Shared Language 137

Principle 7 Shared Wellness 138

Principle 8 Shared Hope 138

Principle 9 Shared Authenticity 139

Living Out the Essential Principles of Strength-Centered Counseling 140

Creating a Personal Plan for Strength and Wellness 140

Finding Hope in a Problem-Centered World 141

Professional Growth Activity: A Strength-Centered Perspective and Life Roles 143

Appendix A Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide-Shared Understanding: The Stance 145

Appendix B Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide-Shared Understanding: The Steps 147

Appendix C Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide-Contracted Change: A Preferred Life 151

Appendix D Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide-Contracted Change: Understanding Goals 155

Appendix E Counselor Interview & Reflection Guide-Developed Lifestyle: Understanding and Practicing Personal Wellness 157

Appendix F Strength Cards 179

References 179

Index 185

About the Authors 201

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