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Course Title

Counseling Theory: Solution Focused Counseling – Foundations

Course Number

ISCA 802

Course Overview

We believe all counselors strive to help the students, parents, teachers, and administrators be happy, healthy, and successful. Similarly, each of us has strengths that can be used to make this achievable. The challenge is doing good, doing well, and staying fresh. 

Solution focused (SF) counseling is a future-oriented, goal-directed approach to solving human challenges for counselors and clients alike. This course will give participants a solid foundation, teaching the what, why, and how of SF counseling while using guided practice to build upon their strengths. In addition, counselors will leave with a clear understanding of SF practice so they can immediately start implementing SF skills to help their students, parents, colleagues and administration create the futures they want and deserve.

This training will involve and support content that includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

A. RESPONSIBILITY TO STUDENTS 

A.1. Supporting Student Development

A.4. Academic, Career and Social/Emotional Plans

d. Provide opportunities for all students to develop the mindsets and behaviors necessary to learn work-related skills, resilience, perseverance, an understanding of lifelong learning as a part of long-term career success, a positive attitude toward learning and a strong work ethic.

A.7. Group Work

B. RESPONSIBILITIES TO PARENTS/ GUARDIANS, SCHOOL AND SELF

B.2. Responsibilities to the School

a. Develop and maintain professional relationships and systems of communication with faculty, staff and administrators to support students. 

f. Provide support, consultation and mentoring to professionals in need of assistance when in the scope of the school counselor’s role. 

B.3. Responsibilities to Self

e. Engage in professional development and personal growth throughout their careers. 

f. Monitor their emotional and physical health and practice wellness to ensure optimal professional effectiveness.


Intended Audience

This course is intended for counseling staff but could also be useful for teachers, and administrators. Any individual who wants to find a new more positive way to relate to others.

Essential Questions

How can solution focused counseling improve my everyday practice?

How can solution focused counseling skills change the dynamics of daily conversations with students, colleagues, parents and administrators?


Knowledge

Skills

Participants will know:

Participants will be able to:

  • The basics of a solution focused conversation
  • A variety of formats that can be used when engaging in a solution focused conversation

  • Tools that can be used for people of all ages

  • Engage in a solution focused conversation with students, colleagues, parents and administration
  • Identify ways to adapt the solution focused conversation based on individual needs
  • Implement solution focused conversation and tools in everyday life

About the Facilitator

Felina Heart (M.Ed. School counseling), has worked in international schools for 8 years as an elementary and middle school counselor and Safeguarding Lead in Ukraine and Hungary. Additionally, Felina has experience in schools in Texas where she taught and served as a school crisis counselor. Felina received her certificate in solution counseling from BRIEF in London, UK. Since this she has worked to implement solution focused techniques in various aspects of the schools she has worked. Felina also published a chapter on her solution focused work book titled, The solution focused approach with children and young people: Current thinking and practice. 

Over the past couple years Felina has presented a session on solution focused counseling at ELMLE and partnered with Joe at the ISCA, CEESA, and Solution Focused Schools conferences. 


Joe George is a licensed professional counselor, licensed professional school counselor and teacher (State of Michigan, USA), and certified solution-focused therapist (BRIEF). After starting his professional life as a high school social studies teacher in the US, Joe became a counselor. Then, in 2007, he left the US to explore and learn, working as a middle school counselor in Russia and Israel. In his free time, Joe enjoys playing with his kids, traveling, and sharing solution-focused ideas and interviews via his YouTube channel, Solution Focused Future


In addition to partnering with Felina at the ISCA, CEESA and Solution Focused Schools conferences, Joe is an ISCA Taskforce member. 



Dates and times of offerings

Cohort 1: January 21 and 28, 2023 @ 12:00pm GMT - 3:00pm GMT

Contact hours

Six (6) Professional Development Hours
(2x 3-hour workshops)

Time commitment between sessions

The homework will be to practice individual skills that are taught and then be able to report back on that practice.  This could include a jamboard with space for answering prompts about the practice.


Required Resource(s)

A willingness to look at communication in a different way.  A willingness to engage and practice within the session.

References

American School Counselor Association (2016). ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors. Alexandria, VA: Author.


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