For the past twenty-five years, Linda Metcalf, Ph.D., counselor, author and director of graduate counseling programs at Texas Wesleyan, has blended two, main postmodern therapy approaches in her work with children, adolescents, families and couples. Her new book, Solution-Focused Narrative Therapy (Springer, 2017), harnesses the power of both models: the strengths-based, solution building approach of Solution-Focused Therapy and the value-honoring and re-descriptive approach of Narrative Therapy, to offer brief, effective help to clients that builds on their strengths and abilities to envision and craft preferred outcomes.
“It was one of my Wesleyan graduates, Elliott Connie, who pushed me to write the book,” Metcalf says. “Elliott turned to solution-focused work as he started his career and excelled at it. Yet, whenever he and I worked together, he would often ask what I did at a particular point with a client that seemed different. He noticed I was blending two models – something that was unique, and certainly worked."
In the book, Metcalf provides an overview of the history of both models and outlines their differences, similarities, limitations and strengths. It then demonstrates how to blend these two approaches in working with such issues as trauma, addictions, grief, relationship issues, family therapy and mood issues. Each concern is illustrated with a case study from practice with individual adults, adolescents, children and families.
The book contains useful client dialogue and forms to help the clinician guide clients in practice. Each chapter concludes with a summary describing and reinforcing the principles of the topic and a personal exercise so the reader can experience the approach first hand.