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A Social Constructivist Perspective. Holds that our lives and identities are formed and reformed in our interactions with each other. Our lives and identities are ongoing projects.

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A Social Constructivist Perspective

  • Holds that our lives and identities are formed and reformed in our interactions with each other.

  • Our lives and identities are ongoing projects.

  • We are continually immersed in negotiating viable understandings of our lives (and in conveying that understanding to others).

  • We may live our various realities with different people and at different times. We are multi-storied.


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An Excerpt from the videoReflecting Processes: Dialogues about Dialogues about the Dialogues

Tom Anderson, 1992


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Expressing Oneself

  • comprises both giving information to oneself and others about what one thinks,

  • but it is also an affirmation of oneself,

  • which means to constitute and reconstitute self.


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A conversation

  • an attempt to understand oneself

  • and to understand one’s surroundings

  • and how one may relate to these surroundings


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Everybody is in an ongoing conversation

  • either with oneself (an inner dialogue)

  • or with others (an outer dialogue).

  • There is a constant search to understand who one is,

  • what one’s surroundings are,

  • and how one might relate to one’s surroundings.


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Those who come and say they have a problem

  • are those who have an understanding that is not useful.


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Counseling/Supervision

  • is a conversation with those who search

    for an alternative understanding of

    themselves and their surroundings

    and how they are relating to their

    surroundings.


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Steps in Narrative Career Counseling as possible,

  • Clients tell about their past career development, present career development, and construct their future career

  • Similar to a play or psychodrama, in which clients enact their lives; career is seen as a story

  • Application of concepts from literary criticism

  • _ agent - client, narrator, author of story

  • _ setting - where story occurs, also important people such as family, friends, etc.

  • _ action - designed to reach a goal that will satisfy needs of agent

  • _ instrument - what agent uses to reach goal


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Storytelling as possible,

  • Client’s narration has a beginning (difficult or troubling situation),

    • middle (obstacles and instruments that may be used in working toward reaching a personal goal),

    • and end (counselor and client work together to develop solutions that will provide satisfaction and to reach a goal that will satisfy client).


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Goals of Assessment in Narrative Counseling as possible,

  • Counselor is like an editor. Find out what is important from client’s story and what’s not,

  • Identify patterns in clients’ lives’

  • Form a sense of the client’s identity,

  • Learn about the client’s goals for the future


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