An exploration into the use of solution-focused counselling when working with adolescents who report experiencing bullying (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Counselling
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsGillespie, Amandashow all
International and local studies indicate that bullying is a significant problem within New Zealand schools. School counsellors are positioned to see the impact of bullying on individuals, that is not visible to the wider community. This research provided the opportunity to examine the therapeutic process and the impact it can have on those experiencing bullying.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a collaborative approach that privileges the expertise of the client and encourages change through the amplification of client strengths and past successes while focusing on a preferred future. This research explores the use of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy when working with adolescents experiencing bullying.
The context for this research is the school counselling department of a high school in Christchurch, New Zealand. Qualitative, practice-based research methods are used, and data was collected through the recording of counselling sessions, with the researcher as counsellor. Two clients, both in their first year at high school, were participants in this research while undertaking up to six counselling sessions, related to the bullying they were experiencing.
Narrative analysis ensured the data is presented with consideration of the wider story it tells. The findings and discussion highlight the ways in which Solution-Focused Brief Therapy has supported the participants through the therapeutic process. Some of those explored include subjective measures such as scaling that indicate improvement over time, how client perceptions about the problem and possible solutions can change and the impact on self-identity. A key insight was the impact that a sense of support and understanding can have on client agency. This research makes a positive addition to the body of literature on bullying and provides useful insight for practitioners working with adolescents experiencing bullying.