You are here

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.

For instructors

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.