Title

A narrative therapy approach to counseling: Amodel for working with adolescents and adults with language-literacy deficits

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Language,Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools

Volume

37

Publisher

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Publication Date

2006

First Page

168

Last Page

177

Abstract

Purpose: Remediation efforts with adolescents and adults with language-literacy deficits (LLD) may be hindered by concomitant factors such as decreased self-esteem and self-efficacy. Despite sound linguistically based remediation practices, treatment lacking integrated counseling components may fail to achieve optimal outcomes. In this tutorial, we recount a counseling approach, specifically a narrative therapy counseling approach based on constructivist theory, to be used with adolescents and adults with LLD.

Method: A review of the literature includes research on the use of counseling in communication disorders settings and on the application of a narrative therapy counseling approach with individuals with decreased self-esteem. The key components and steps of narrative therapy are described, and applications for use with adolescents and adults with LLD are suggested. Sample vignettes of a counseling component for a 22-year-old student with LLD who is enrolled in literacy intervention are used to illustrate some of the key points of a narrative therapy counseling approach.

Implications: A narrative therapy counseling approach that is integrated into language-literacy remediation may be an effective way of addressing concomitant factors such as decreased self-esteem in adolescents and adults with LLD. Readers of this article are challenged to seek additional counseling training and to begin to conduct research to determine the feasibility, effectiveness, and efficacy of integrating a counseling component into speech and language therapy.

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