Exploring the use of strategies to support Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to enhance engagement with adolescent males: one counsellor’s experience.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Counselling
This thesis seeks to examine how young men, at a New Zealand single sex high school, engage with strategies and tools offered to support solution focused brief therapy (SFBT). A qualitative case study research approach is used. The context of this study is the counselling service of a high school where young men are aged between 13 and 18 years of age. These are often turbulent years for teenagers and high school presents its own challenges irrespective of those faced at home or in other contexts. The counselling they are offered uses a solution-focused approach where the purpose is to encourage clients to create their own preferred future and strategies for achieving this. The aim of this study is to help the young men engage and gain benefit from their counselling. Students were invited to volunteer to be part of this study. The four selected presented with reasons for coming to counselling similar to those of students typically seeking counselling (work/study and relationship issues). Each participant consented to engage in solution-focused counselling where the counsellor used a range of kinaesthetic and visual tools to assist in the counselling process. Counselling sessions were videoed and analysed with specific focus on client engagement. Four key findings emerged. Firstly, the use of SFBT tools and strategies produced increased verbal interaction (i.e. more talking); secondly a range of non-verbal expressions including changes in body language were displayed as signs of engagement; thirdly the clarification of goal/s through visual/practical scales evoked positive talk and ownership over the student’s future; and finally self-reflection by the researcher on the impact of each counselling session produced positive and improved outcomes on the researcher’s own counselling practice.