Empowering adolescents through solution-focused counselling : The Experiences of New Zealand Adolescents
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Counselling
Solution-focused therapy is a postmodern strength-based counselling intervention which focuses on the discovery of client strengths, resources and abilities to empower clients to bring about positive change in their lives. My research employed a pragmatic case study (PCS) method to systematically study the self-efficacy experiences of four New Zealand adolescents throughout the solution-focused process. Each client participated in up to five counselling sessions. Following the PCS method my study began with a presentation of my guiding conception which detailed my theoretical approach and the ways in which solution-focused skills and techniques would be applied throughout the study. Case data included analysis of all client counselling sessions and final interviews which were video-recorded, as well as the consideration of a quantitative measurement in the form of the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS). Through analysis of outcome results and using three inductively derived themes to guide cross-case analysis, it was found that the solution-focused counselling process, assisted adolescents in discovering and developing their knowledge and awareness of their personal strengths and resources; encouraged adolescents to feel empowered to act upon these resources, therefore enhancing self-efficacy; and used the quality of the therapeutic relationship to give adolescents a sense of being a co-participator in the counselling process and as a result gave adolescents a ‘boost’ towards taking action, therefore increasing self-efficacy. Process and thematic results, supported by a brief quantitative measure, showed that all four clients made significant progress towards achieving their goals for counselling. Overall the results suggest that the solution-focused process contributed to positive therapeutic outcome and gains in self-efficacy. All four clients demonstrated the confidence to take action to bring about positive change in relation to their counselling goals, supporting enhanced self-efficacy.