Does teaching a solution-focused model of counselling work? A follow-up of graduates
Objective: To explore the ways in which graduates of a university counsellor-education programme reflected on their career development, retained the programme's distinctive theoretical counselling model in their counselling practice and engaged in continuing professional development. The main aim was to discover whether or not teaching a solution-focused model of counselling was worthwhile. Method: A questionnaire, using primarily solution-focused type questions, was distributed to all graduates. Interest was focused on specific events, both inside and outside the training programme and beyond, that contributed to graduates' sense of development as counsellors. Results: Thirty four graduates (response rate 62%) provided responses indicating their recognition that their sense of competence and identification as professional counsellors develops over time, and is assisted by relevant feedback and supervision from lecturers and practical counselling experience. Graduates also indicated that their favoured working model was solution-focused and that, as a framework, it provided them with opportunities to integrate other counselling models and add complementary professional development education. Conclusion: The graduates' continued use of a solution-focused model supports the view that teaching the solution-focused model is working. The findings are considered alongside four models of counsellor development and implications for counsellor-education programmes are explored.