ERIC Number: ED359455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Stories and Solutions in Psychotherapy with Adolescents.
Biever, Joan L.; And Others
Adolescents may be ambivalent about consulting with adults, especially when it seems likely that the adult will take a rigid stance on issues. The focus of this paper is the development of counseling styles that expand the adolescent's world to include understandings and options not previously available. It may be useful to approach counseling with adolescents as a collaborative venture in which new stories or narratives are developed. Narrative approaches to counseling help clients sort through their experiences and develop their own definitions of the meaning of experiences in their lives. This process provides validation to clients and a sense of being in control of their own lives. The primary task for counselors is to become skilled at facilitating therapeutic conversations. To help counselors accomplish this task, several guidelines have been developed. Counselors should strive to: (1) maintain the "not knowing stance"; (2) to be open to and help generate alternatives; (3) think in terms of both/and rather than either/or; (4) assume the adolescent has strengths and resources; (5) be aware of their own values and beliefs; (6) work with the person, not the label; (7) include others in the counseling; and (8) work toward understandings. By taking a narrative approach, counselors may enter into the world of their adolescent clients and facilitate the generation of alternative meanings and understandings within the framework of this world. The narrative approach tends to elicit cooperation and investment from the adolescent and circumvent the power struggles which may occur when working with adolescents. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Conference on "The Troubled Adolescent: The Nation's Concern and Its Response" (San Antonio, TX, March 17-20, 1992).