Informing the practice of a novice counsellor by adapting the miracle question for New Zealand youth.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Counselling
This thesis is a story of part of my journey as a novice counsellor, engaging with the miracle question sequence, a tool of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). The original miracle question, developed by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues, was intended to help a client shift from being ‘stuck’ to feeling enabled to move forward (de Jong and Berg, 2013).
The aim of this study was to capture the development of the miracle question sequence of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with young people in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Five young people volunteered to participate in my reflective research, which involved a counselling session, in which I introduced an adapted miracle question and asked them to complete a Session Rating Scale (Duncan, Miller, Sparks, Johnson, 2003). I also asked them to comment on the adapted miracle question. These counselling sessions were videoed and analysed with a particular focus on participants’ shaping and articulation of the miracle question sequence. Through a qualitative interpretive analysis, I was able to retrieve rich data that exemplified the co-construction in which the participants and myself engaged. Clients also said that they enjoyed using the adapted miracle question, felt heard and liked thinking about their future and preferred future in a novel way.
Through further reflection on the analysis I was able to describe some key elements of this co-construction that have informed my practice with the miracle question. Further, I discuss this with respect to the vulnerabilities of a novice counsellor when she/he feels ‘stuck’. Implications for other counsellors are also considered.