Title

Using Narrative Therapy to Support At-Risk High School Students Transitioning from Alternative to Traditional School

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This presentation relates to strands one and two. Strand one, Academic Achievement and Leadership: Closing Achievement Gaps and Promoting Learning for All Children and Youth Especially for High-poverty Populations is evident in this presentation’s focus on a school counseling technique designed to support students of color, too often represented in the achievement gap, as they transition from alternative school to traditional school, a transition that can lead to greater or lesser academic achievement depending on the success of the transition. It also relates to strand two, Social and Emotional Skills: Fostering Social and Emotional Skills and the Social Climate for All Children and Youth Especially for High-poverty Populations. School counselors using narrative therapy techniques seek to empower students to find in their narratives sources of academic and emotional resilience so that they succeed in school and beyond.

Brief Program Description

This session presents the topics of narrative therapy and providing support to students transitioning from alternative settings to traditional school environments and experiencing difficulties. Intended for a target audience of school personnel, specific objectives include: participants will 1. know the foundations and applications of narrative therapy and 2. apply through case study the steps of narrative therapy.

Summary

This session presents the application of narrative therapy which has substantial implications for school counselors and school personnel who provide support to students transitioning from alternative settings back into a traditional school environment and are experiencing difficulties. Researchers indicate that transitioning to a traditional high school from an alternative school for many adolescents is difficult (Benner & Graham, 2009). Moreover, as transitioning students often represent groups of students historically marginalized such as students of color, lower SES, lower ability levels, and with problematic behaviors, students often encounter oppression in their return to the traditional setting. School counselors can use narrative therapy to help students address oppressive narratives of defeat and marginalization and assist these students in developing new narratives of personal empowerment. The social justice orientation of the narrative therapy approach to counseling suggests it is an ideal therapeutic orientation for school counselors who may have large numbers of students transitioning from alternative programs who could be experiencing teacher or student marginalization (Combs & Freedman, 2012). This session presents a practice model in which a school counselor using a narrative therapy approach helps a student envision a new personal story and embrace a new way of being while also combating the marginalization and oppression the student experiences during transition. The presented model addresses the importance of the parents’ role in ensuring that the student is successful in their transition. The session will provide participants with a take-home model for using the same narrative therapy techniques with transitioning students in their schools.

References

Benner, A. D., & Graham, S. (2009). The transition to high school as a developmental process among multiethnic urban youth. Child Development, 80(2), 356-376.

Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (2012). Narrative, poststructuralism, and social justice current practices in Narrative Therapy. The Counseling Psychologist,40(7), 1033-1060.

Evidence

Evidence: Narrative therapy techniques have been field tested with adolescents in programs such as the Phoenix Youth Program and have shown effectiveness in providing support for participants and a structured approach for counselors in their work (Hartman, Little, & Ungar, 2008).

Reference

Hartman, L. Little, A., & Ungar, M. (2008). Narrative-inspired Youth Care Work Within a Community Agency. Journal of Systemic Therapies. 27(1), 44-58.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Natoya Haskins is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia and is a former school counselor in k-12 schools.

Dr. Lee Grimes is an assistant professor at Valdosta State University and is a former school counselor in k-12 schools.

Dr. Leonissa Johnson is an assistant professor at Clark Atlanta University and is a former school counselor in k-12 schools.

Keyword Descriptors

narrative therapy, alternative schools, school counseling, transitions

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

Using Narrative Therapy to Support At-Risk High School Students Transitioning from Alternative to Traditional School

Harborside Center

This session presents the topics of narrative therapy and providing support to students transitioning from alternative settings to traditional school environments and experiencing difficulties. Intended for a target audience of school personnel, specific objectives include: participants will 1. know the foundations and applications of narrative therapy and 2. apply through case study the steps of narrative therapy.