Alternative story- a story that develops in counseling in contradiction to the dominant story that is embedded in a problem.
Co-authoring- a co-joint process where client and counselor share responsibility for developing alternative stories.
Deconstruction- exploring meaning by taking apart/unpacking the taken-for-granted categories and assumptions underlying social practices that are guised as truths.
Dominant story- understanding a situation that is accepted within a culture that appears to represent reality. Dominant stories are developed through conversations in social and cultural contexts and these stories shape how people construct and constitute what people see, feel, and do.
Exception questions- SF counselors inquire about times when the problem(s) have not been problematic. Shows that problems are not ever existing and always overpowering.
Externalizing conversation- a way of speaking about a problem as if it is a distant entity, separate of the person. Based on the premise that people who view themselves as the problem limit themselves to the extent they cannot effectively deal with the problem.
Formula first session task- observation homework given that must be completed between first and second session. They must observe what is happening in their lives that they want to continue to happening.
Mapping-the-influence questions- a series of questions asked about a problem that clients have internalized as a means of understanding the relationship between client and problem.
Miracle question- ST technique that asks clients how their lives would be different if they woke up tomorrow and they no longer had their problem(s). [“You didn’t know the problem went away because you were asleep, so, what would be the first difference you notice as you wake up and get ready for the day?”]
Narrative- social contructionist conceptualization of how people develop and create ‘storied’ meanings in their lives.
Narrative therapy- postmodern approach to counseling that is based on counselor characteristics that create an encouraging climate where clients see their stories from different perspectives. Philosophical framework assists clients in finding new meanings and possibilities in their lives.
Not-knowing position- a therapeutic stance that invites clients to be experts about their own lives. Clients inform counselors about significant narratives in their lives.
Postmodernism- philosophical movement that aims to critically examine assumptions that are a part of the established truths of society. Recognize/Acknowledge complexity, relativity, and intersubjectivity of all human experiences.
Postmodernist- believe that subjective reality cannot exist independently of the observational process. Problems exist when people say that a problem needs to be addressed.
Pretherapy change- SF counselors ask about pre-session improvements, or what clients have done that made any difference since scheduling the session in the first counseling session.
Problem-saturated story- when clients are overwhelmed and fused to problems. NT assist clients to understand they do not have to reduce their identity by totalizing descriptions.
Re-authoring- a process in NT where clients and counselors jointly create an alternative life story.
Scaling questions- a SF technique that asks clients to observe changes in feelings, moods, thoughts, and behaviors. Clients rate changes on a 1-10 scale.
Social constructionism- therapeutic perspective within a postmodern worldview that stresses client reality without disputing the accuracy and validity. Emphasizes the ways people make meaning in social relationships.
Totalizing descriptions- descriptions of people that constrict themselves to a single dimension that reportedly captures their identity.
Unique outcome- lived experiences are outside the realm of dominant stories OR lived experiences are contradiction to the problem story.
Insoo Kim Berg & Steve de Shazer
Michael White & David Epston
Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:
Social Constructionism (Solution-focused and Narrative):
Stories people tell are true and creations of meaning
Solution-focused counselors view people as healthy, competent, resourceful, and able to construct solutions and alternative stories to enhance lives
Help clients recognize competencies
Help focus on what clients are doing [when problem does not occur] to develop strengths, potential, and resources
Narrative counselors avoid making assumptions by valuing each unique story and culture of clients