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Brief Counseling That Works
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Brief Counseling That Works
A Solution-Focused Therapy Approach for School Counselors and Other Mental Health Professionals

Third Edition


June 2014 | 248 pages | Corwin
Everything you need for maximum counseling results in less time!

Expert Gerald Sklare is back with a breakthrough approach to effective counseling. Get fresh insights and new applications for solution-focused brief counseling (SFBC). Revised and expanded chapters help you:

 Conduct brief, short-term sessions that lead to rapid, observable change
 Create well-defined client goals
 Enable clients to envision and take steps toward a more hopeful future
 Maximize your time for rapid, observable student progress
 Use the solution-focused principles with reluctant clients 
 Conduct positive, goal-oriented parent conferences 
 Work with individuals in school and community settings

You’ll find a brand new chapter on abbreviated SFBC sessions, updated case studies and research, helpful flow charts and note sheets, and invaluable practice exercises. This “how-to” book gives you everything you need to implement this powerful, innovative counseling approach.

“Simple yet spectacular, my students and I LOVE Brief Counseling that Works! It presents a user-friendly, time-efficient, and very effective approach to counseling school-aged youth (and adults)!”
—Bradley T. Erford, Professor
Past President of the American Counseling Association
Loyola University of Maryland
 
Preface
Overview of the Contents

 
What’s New in This Edition

 
Who Can Benefit From This Book

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
Publisher's Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Counseling in Schools and Other Settings: Problems and Solutions
Origins of Solution-Focused Brief Counseling

 
Differences and Similarities

 
Effectiveness

 
Core “Rules”

 
Solution-Focused Assumptions

 
Additional Guiding Concepts

 
Summary

 
Practice Exercise

 
 
2. Setting Goals
Opening the First Meeting: Establishing Rapport and Explaining the Process

 
Developing a Positive Goal

 
The Miracle Question

 
“What Else” Questions

 
Establishing Well-Developed Goals: An Overview

 
Summary

 
Practice Exercises

 
 
3. Discovering and Constructing Solutions
Discovering Unrecognized Solutions: Instances of Success

 
Empowering Clients Through Recognition of Their Resources

 
Scaling a Baseline and Progress

 
Flagging the Minefield: Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles

 
Concluding the Initial Session With a Message

 
Summary

 
Practice Exercise

 
 
4. Connecting the Pieces
Components of the First Session

 
Case Study With Pedro: Session One

 
Summary

 
Practice Exercises

 
 
5. Abbreviated SFBC Session
Explaining the Process

 
Determine What the Client Wants to Achieve

 
Use Scaling to Determine Clients’ Views of Their Present Situation

 
What’s the Highest Number the Client Has Ever Been?

 
The Message

 
A Case of an Abbreviated SFBC Session

 
Summary

 
 
6. Conducting Subsequent Sessions
Subsequent Sessions: Getting Started

 
Components of Second and Subsequent Sessions

 
Assessing Whether Further Counseling is Needed

 
Writing a Message

 
Tools for Second and Subsequent Sessions: Flow Chart and Note Sheet

 
Subsequent Sessions With Pedro

 
Summary

 
 
7. Working With Reluctant Clients and Challenging Situations
Helping Involuntary Clients Become Customers for Counseling

 
SFBC With Students Mandated for Counseling in Lieu of Disciplinary Action

 
Turning Difficult Situations Into Workable Goals

 
Summary

 
 
8. Expanding Applications of Solution-Focused Concepts
10-Second “Counseling”

 
Solution-Focused Counseling Referral Form

 
Use of Puppets in SFBC

 
Use of Sand Trays in SFBC

 
Solution-Focused Group Counseling

 
Classroom Counseling Using SFBC Methods

 
Solution-Focused Parent-Teacher Conferences

 
Solution-Focused Guided Imagery

 
Summary

 
Final Thoughts

 
 
Appendix A: Counseling Session With Kasey: A Practice Exercise
 
Appendix B: Solution-Focused Guided Imagery
 
Appendix C: Practice Detailing a Non-Specific Goal
 
References
 
Index

"Simple yet spectacular, my students and I LOVE Brief Counseling that Works. It presents a user-friendly, time-efficient, and very effective approach to counseling school-aged youth (and adults)!"

Bradley T. Erford, Professor
Loyola University of Maryland

"Every once in a while I come upon a text that is so clear, so explicit, and so practical that I hear students recommending it to other counseling students who are not in the class.  Gerald Sklare’s Brief Counseling That Works:  A Solution-Focused Approach for School Counselors and Administrators is one such book.  I have used the first two editions in my secondary school internship course for several years, and have had universally positive feedback from the interns.  Even though they have all been introduced to SFBC in their theories and group classes and many have applied it in to their work in practicum, they are excited about how it helps them with “Connecting the Pieces”. While I appreciate the ways that the book addresses the application of SFBC to the school setting, I feel that it is a valuable resource for anyone working with children and adolescents regardless of the setting."

Virginia S. Dansby, Professor
Professional Counseling Program, Middle Tennessee State University

"The solution-focused counseling approach is teaching us that strengths and resources are already available and dormant within students, parents, and the school. This book is a highly readable and practical guide for harnessing the power of problem-free talk and exception-seeking to support and empower our students."

Stephanos P. Vassilopoulos, Assistant Professor
Department of Primary Education, University of Patras, Greece

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