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Solution Focused Narrative Therapy

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Solution Focused Narrative Therapy

SKU# 9780826131768

Author: Linda Metcalf PhD, LPC-S, LMFT-S

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This groundbreaking book is the first to provide a comprehensive model for effectively blending the two main postmodern brief therapy approaches: solution focused and narrative therapies. It harnesses the power of both models—the strengths-based, problem-solving approach of SFT 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.

Authored by a leading trainer, teacher, and practitioner in the field, the book 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 using a case study from practice that focuses on individual adults, adolescents, children, or families. Sample client dialogues and forms are included 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 firsthand.


  • Describes how two popular postmodern therapy models are combined to create a powerful new therapeutic approach—the first book to do so
  • Includes case studies reflecting the model’s use with individual adults, children, adolescents, and families
  • Provides supporting dialogue and forms for practitioners
  • Authored by a leading figure in the application of SFT in a variety of settings
  • Presents an overview of the history of both models

Product Details 

  • Publication Date April 08, 2017
  • Page Count 234
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826131768
  • EISBN 9780826131775

About The Author(s) 

Linda Metcalf, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT-S, is a professor and director, Graduate Counseling Program, Texas Wesleyan University. She is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist in Texas and maintains a private practice in the Fort Worth, Texas, area. Dr. Metcalf is a leader in the development and application of solution focused approaches in a wide range of settings and audiences, as well as the practice of marriage and family therapy. She is the author of 10 books for professional and lay audiences, including the best-selling Counseling Toward Solutions: A Practical Solution-Focused Program for Working With Students, Teachers, and Parents, 2nd Edition (2008); Marriage and Family Therapy: A Practice-Oriented Approach (Springer Publishing, 2010), and Solution Focused Group Therapy (2007). Dr. Metcalf has served as president and board member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) as well as president of the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Additionally, she is the current president of the Association of Solution Focused Practitioners and has presented and trained extensively throughout the United States and internationally, including Australia, Japan, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, Thailand, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Canada.

Table of Contents 


Foreword by Elliot Connie, LPC


1. Meaningful Solutions

The Search Is On . . .

From Modern to Postmodern: Seeing Clients as Experts

Postmodern Models at Work

Applying the Blend of Ideas to Valerie’s Case

Rebuilding a New Presentation

Adding Noteworthy Encouragement

The New Brand Sells

The Power of Redescription

Using Redescription to Create New Presentations

Results of the Blend


Personal Exercise

2. Solution Focused Stories

Combining Strengths of Both Models

Guiding Constructs of Solution Focused Narrative Therapy

Putting the Constructs to Work


Personal Exercise

3. Action-Filled Narratives

Solution Focused Narrative Therapy: Conversational Ideas

What About the Next Session?


Personal Exercise

4. Triumph Over Trauma

Storytelling 101: Finding Resolution to a Plot

Seventy-Seven Years: A Timeline to a Preferred Future

Composing a New Chapter After Trauma

From Trauma to Resolutions: Let the Words of the Client Guide the Way

Dear Client: Teach Me How to Talk to You


Personal Exercise

5. Relationship Presentations

Therapists Make Presentations, Too

Changing the Rules

To Change Someone, Change Yourself

Relatable Moments That Build Trust

Doing Things Differently With Adolescents

Packing Up the Baggage and Reclaiming a Relationship


Personal Exercise

6. Dangerous Habits

Habits Happen as a Method of Coping

Gaining Personal Control

There’s a Monster in My Head

Coping Safely

Assumptions About Clients With Dangerous Habits

Substance Abuse Habits

Moving Beyond the Roadblocks

Rearranging the Furniture

Distancing From Self-Injury

Reclaiming Health From Eating Disorders

Guiding Template for Clients With Dangerous Habits


Personal Exercise

7. Timeless Influences

Videos, Ornaments, and Aftershave

The Art of Re-Membering

Finding Peace for Lilly

Addressing Early Childhood Issues


Personal Exercise

8. Reintroducing School Clients

Making a Campus Appearance

How Schools Respond to Problems

Attempts to Change Behavior

Academic Labels

Notifications No More


Personal Exercise

9. Writing Miracle Days With Families

Writing New Miracles With Families

Guiding Ideas for Working With Families

Gaining Control of a Diagnosis

A Blended Family Gets Together

Creating a New Chapter After Loss

Parenting and Couplehood

Reconciliation Forever

Family Sculpting: Managing a Change of Characters


Personal Exercise

10. The Path to Less Distress

Gaining Distance From a Diagnosis

Externalizing Diagnoses

Ideas and Steps for Externalizing Problems

The Woman I Used to Be

Exceptional Descriptions

Always Seek Exceptions for Direction


Personal Exercise

11. Treatment Planning and Group Therapy

Collaborative Approach to Assessment and Transition Planning

Solution Focused Narrative Approach

Changing the Focus of Staff

From Admission to Discharge in One Conversation

Group Therapy for Solution Building

Steps to Take When Beginning a Group


Personal Exercise

Appendix: Guiding Constructs of Solution Focused Narrative Therapy