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Postmodern Approaches

Presentation for EPSE 417 on Postmodern Approaches, with a special look at SFBT and Narrative Therapies.

Dayle Emond

on 8 August 2013

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Transcript of Postmodern Approaches

Postmodern Approaches
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Social Constructionism:
Key Concepts
There are multiple truths.
Reality is subjective and based on the use of language. Realities are socially constructed.
Therapist assumes a collaborative and consultative stance.
Postmodern thought has had an impact on the development of many theories: (1) Collaborative Language Systems Approach, (2) Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, (3) Solution-Oriented Therapy, (4) Narrative Therapy
Social Constructionism:
Generate new meaning in clients lives.
Co-construct solutions that are unique to each client.
Increase awareness of the influence of dominant culture on the client.
Develop alternate ways of being, acting, knowing, and living.
Social Constructionism:
Key Assumptions
Critical stance towards taken-for-granted knowledge.
Language and concepts we use to generally understand the world are historically and culturally specific.
Knowledge is constructed through social processes.
Social norms are practices that affect social life rather than abstractions from it.
Social Constructionism: Introduction
"A therapeutic perspective within a postmodern worldview." (Corey, pg. 375)
The client is the expert, not the therapist.
Use of dialogue to gain perspective and discover strengths and resources from each clients unique experiences.
Use of questions to empower clients.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Introduction
Focus on the present and future instead of the past.
Little attention is given to diagnosis, history taking, or exploration of the problem.
Shift in focus from problem solving to constructing solutions.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Key Concepts
Positive Orientation - people are healthy and competent.
Therapy is concerned with looking for what is working, rather than what is not.
Therapists assist clients in finding exceptions to their problems.
Emphasis is on constructing solutions rather than solving problems.
SFBT and Narrative Therapy:
Key Assumptions
The client is the expert on his own life.
The best therapy involves a collaborative partnership.
Clients have the capability to behave effectively.
There are exceptions to every problem.
Clients often present only one side of themselves.
Small changes pave the way for larger changes.
Clients want to change, have the capacity to change, and are doing their best to make change happen.
Clients can be trusted in their intention to solve their problem.
Clients have the capacity to create their own solutions to their problems.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: The Therapeutic Process
Therapeutic goals - people have the ability to define meaningful personal goals and they have the resources required to solve their problems.
Therapists function and role - clients are much more likely to fully participate in the therapeutic process if they perceive themselves as determining the direction and purpose of the conversation.
Therapeutic relationship - the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client is more important than assessment or technique.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Techniques and Procedures
Establishing a collaborative relationship
Pre-therapy change
Exception questions
The miracle question
Scaling questions
Formula first session task
Therapist feedback to client
Group Counseling
Narrative Therapy
Social Constructionism
Narrative Therapy:
Individuals construct the meaning of life in interpretive stories, which are then treated as "truth".
Focuses on the stories clients tell about significant aspects of their lives.
Helps clients understand how they construct their realities and are the authors of their own story.
Narrative Therapy:
Key Concepts
Encourage clients to tell their stories.
Listen to clients without judgment or blame, affirming and valuing them.
Therapists must have attitudes such as optimism, respectful curiosity and persistence, and a valuing for the client's knowledge.
Listen, but do not get stuck in clients problem-saturated stories.
Avoid totalizing language.
The person is not the problem. The problem is the problem.
Narrative Therapy:
The Therapeutic Process
Therapeutic goals - invite people to describe their experience in new and fresh language.
Therapists function and role - therapists are active facilitators. The assume the not-knowing position. Their main task is to help clients construct a preferred story line.
Therapeutic relationship - the relationship should be characterized by a real power-sharing dialogue. Collaboration, compassion, reflection, and discovery characterize the therapeutic relationship.
Narrative Therapy:
Techniques and Procedures
The functions of the narrative therapist.
The role of questions in narrative therapy.
Externalization and deconstruction.
Search for unique outcomes.
Creating Alternative Stories.
Documenting the evidence.
Group work.
Our Evaluation of the Postmodern Approach
Role Play
Significant Contributions / Significant Limitations
Useful for a large variety of people (i.e. gender, race, sexuality, age, culture)
Client as expert
Collaborative relationship
Socially storied life
Setting goals
Refraining from giving advice.
Imposing personal values.
Brief therapy is not for everyone.
Strengths and Limitations of the Postmodern Approach from a Diversity Perspective
Significant Contributions / Significant Limitations
A good fit for diverse world views
Reflection and building done within the therapeutic process is done within the confines of the client’s own cultures and values
Postmodern therapy is grounded in a sociocultural context
Understanding where clients perceive themselves to be and then re-author their social identity that they have set for themselves
People are able to come to an understanding how oppressive social practices have affected them
Therapists must be skilled in implementing brief interventions
Narrative therapists must be careful to approach client’s stories without imposing a preconceived notion of the client’s experiences
For some individual’s, the therapists “not knowing stance” may compromise the client’s confidence in the therapist as the expert
Full transcript