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.
The Power of Personal Storytelling in Counselor Education
Charles E. Myers, Toni R. Tollerud, and Mi-Hee Jeon
Picture a classroom filled with graduate students pursuing their dreams of becoming clinical mental health counselors, school counselors, and counselor educators. Their discussion centers on crisis counseling following a tragedy. The students have completed the reading assignments and have a cognitive understanding of them. To engage them affectively, to have them vicariously experience the subject matter, the instructor needs to bring the material to life. Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of teaching (Hamilton & Weiss, 2007) and is a vital and central condition of the “human experience” (Davidhizar, 2003), capturing the listener’s interest and attention. Storytelling has the ability to bring course content alive, transporting the learner into the experience of the storyteller. The authors present a look at the use of storytelling as a powerful and valuable tool in counselor education.