VISTAS School Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Student-Driven Interviewing Practical Strategies for Involving Students in School Solutions

John J. Murphy and Lenora D. Nunnley


This article provides counselors with practical strategies for counteracting the hopelessness and discouragement experienced by struggling students. These methods are part of student-driven interviewing (SDI). SDI is a collaborative approach to resolving school problems by empowering students to take an active role in building solutions. Unlike traditional approaches where the practitioner dictates treatment goals and Ideas and Research You Can Use: VISTAS 2013 2 interventions with little or no student involvement, SDI explicitly requests and honors student input throughout the helping process. Students are involved in every aspect of their therapeutic care, from formulating goals through evaluating the usefulness of services (Murphy, 2013).

Two core strategies of SDI are covered in this article—creating meaningful goals and building on exceptions and other assets in the lives of students. These strategies are illustrated through case examples and real-life interviews involving a variety of students and problems. But first, we want to quickly summarize the empirical foundations of this respectful, innovative approach to changing school problems.

PDF, 165.33 KB

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