Strength-Based School Counsellors’ Experiences of Counselling in New Zealand
Bright, C; Devine, N; Du Preez, E; Goedeke, S
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This article presents New Zealand school counsellors’ narratives of counselling adolescents from a strengths-based perspective. Strength-based counselling encompasses several counselling modalities including positive psychology, narrative and solution-focused brief counselling and promotes adolescents’ strengths to enhance wellbeing. Using semi-structured interviews, eight secondary school counsellors with a strengths-based practice focus were interviewed. Narrative analysis drawing on a categorical-content mode of reading across participants’ narrative data showed that the school context plays a significant role in shaping counsellors’ practice. Metanarratives of both strength and deficit, and metanarratives of the school context were identified as having an impact on counsellors’ strength-based practices. Dominant deficit metanarratives were juxtaposed with metanarratives of strength. Implications of how counsellors negotiate counselling in a school context are discussed.