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Bestseller!

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

Third Edition

A Joint Publication of the American School Counselor Association



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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