Application: Applying Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy

Please no plagiarism and use the at least one source from this week sources. I need this completed by 09/30/17 at 7pm.


Application: Applying Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy

Narrative and solution-focused therapy are postmodern theories of working with couples and families. In terms of counselor-client relationship, both forms of therapy can be viewed as more collaborative than other theories discussed thus far in the course. They emphasize a more equal distribution of power between counselor and client. They also promote movement away from a traditional metaphor of couple/family relations toward conceptualizing couple/family relationships as networks of co-constructed meanings. Clients are seen as active construers of reality, which, according to these theories, are infinitely re-authorable. In this way, change comes from reconceptualizing and rewriting the ways couples and families make meaning of their relationships.

To prepare for this Application Assignment, view two of the videos in this week’s Learning Resources (at least one narrative and one solution-focused video). Identify the couple’s or family’s issue(s) and begin to think about short- and long-term goals you might include in treatment plans for them. As you consider techniques or interventions to accomplish these goals, think about how you would measure progress in re-authoring or storytelling.

The assignment (4–6 pages)

Based on the theory demonstrated in the narrative video:

  • Define the problem.
  • Formulate a treatment plan including short- and long-term goals.
  • Describe two theory-based interventions you would use and justify your selection.
  • Explain one anticipated outcome of each.

Based on the theory demonstrated in the solution-focused video:

  • Define the problem.
  • Formulate a treatment plan including short- and long-term goals.
  • Describe two theory-based interventions you would use and justify your selection.
  • Explain one anticipated outcome of each.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Learning Resources

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources. To view this week’s embedded media resources, please use the streaming media players below.


Required Resources


  • Video: (Publisher). (1994). I’d hear laughter: Finding solutions for the family [Motion picture]. [With Insoo Kim-Berg]. United States:
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Video: (Publisher). (1994). Irreconcilable differences: A solution-focused approach to marital therapy [Motion picture]. [With Insoo Kim-Berg]. United States:
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Video: Allyn & Bacon. (Publisher). (2002). Narrative therapy with children. [Motion picture]. [With Steven Madigan]. United States:
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


  • Course Text: Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L.., & Snyder, D.  (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
    • Chapter 2, “Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy”
    • Chapter 5, “Gottman Method Couple Therapy”
  • Course Text: Theory-Based Treatment Planning for Marriage and Family Therapists
    • Chapter 10, “Solution-Focused Therapy”
    • Chapter 11, “Narrative Therapy”
  • Article: Beyebach, M., & Morejon, A. R. (1999). Some thoughts on integration in solution-focused therapy. Journal of Systemic Therapies18(1), 24–42. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Article: Robbins, J. M., & Pehrsson, D. (2009). Anorexia nervosa: A synthesis of poetic and narrative therapies in the outpatient treatment of young adult women. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health4(1), 42–56. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Optional Resources


  • Book: Bitter, J. (2009). Solution-focused and solution-oriented therapy. Theory and practice of family therapy and counseling. Brooks/Cole: Belmont, CA.
    • Chapter 10, “Solution-Focused and Solution-Oriented Therapy”
    • Chapter 11, “Postmodernism, Social Construction and Narratives in Family Therapy”


Additional Resources

Narrative Lecture 2017

Gehart’s video lecture on narrative family therapy (Running time: 58:35 mins)

Narrative Case Conceptualization template


Solution-focused Therapies 2016

Gehart’s video lecture on solution-focused therapy (Running time: 54:20 mins)

Solution-focused Case Conceptualization template


Running head: TREATMENT PLANS 1







Treatment Plans

Michelle Blau

Walden University





Treatment Plans

Treatment planning is crucial to the effective and ethical application of counseling

services (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003). They are created with the intention to convey the counselor’s

proposed strategies, client’s concern/goals, and experienced symptoms by way of an organized

and systematic document (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003). Treatment plans can take many forms and are

to be continuously updated and revised throughout the three phases of counseling: early, middle,

and closing/termination (Gladding, 2015). Though flexible in format, there are two basic

classifications of treatment plans: Symptom-based and Theory-based (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003).

Herein, Symptom-based plans are developed from a medical perspective where by symptoms are

identified, measurable goals are set, and therapeutic interventions are detailed (Gerhart & Tuttle,

2003). It is important to note that symptoms in this context are strictly defined in a psychiatric

sense. The second form of treatment planning is Theory-based. These plans are derived within

the context of a therapeutic model and incorporate a broad range of information including a

greater overview of the problem, socio-cultural influences, client perspective, and the

counselor’s theory (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003). Using the perspectives of Bowenian and Structural

Family Therapy, the following are simulated Theory-based treatment plans written on behalf of

the volunteer family Adrian, Judy, and Pam.

Bowenian Family Therapy Treatment Plan

Problem: Pam is an adult woman living with her aging parents, Adrian and Judy.

Pam experiences an undefined developmental disability and struggles with

openly and clearly communicating- predominately related to emotions and

feelings. According to Adrian and Judy, Pam will often exhibit aggressive

behaviors and thus it is believed that she experiences a great deal of

Commented [LS1]: Excellent introduction – just be sure to cite any media used.

Commented [LS2]: Use APA heading format





unresolved anger/resentment towards her parents. There is a clear

maladaptive triangle wherein Adrian and Judy’s marital relationship is

neglected because their focus remains heavily rooted in the anxieties of

their daughter’s behaviors and symptoms (Gurman, Lebow, & Snyder,

2015). Pam lacks a meaningful social support network. The family at large

lacks general insight around Pam’s behaviors, including Pam herself. All

three individuals express anxiety, sadness, fear, and confusion around the

relationship patterns; there is love and a desire to be better connected

amongst all three members.

Early Phase Goals:

1. Create a therapeutic environment and a genuine connection with the family.

a. Open the closed-system family dynamic.

b. Identify transgenerational dysfunction.

c. Identify structure, configuration, and connectedness.

2. Reduce anxiety around the stated problems, by raising Pam’s differentiation.

a. Obtain internet to allow Pam a meaningful activity.

b. Increase Pam’s access to socialization opportunities and friend base.

Middle Phase Goals:

1. Neutralize the dysfunctional triangle.

a. Improve Pam’s and Judy’s relationship.

i. Reframe how family view’s Jessie and Pam’s relationship.

ii. Set a time for Pam and Judy to spend time with one another.

1. On Pam’s time table / using Jessie’s formula.

Commented [LS3]: Excellent application of the theory in defining the problem.

Commented [LS4]: What might a Bowenian theorist call these stages?





b. Continue to address Pam’s need to increase differentiation.

i. Increase her overall independence in order to decrease her

reliance on parents.

ii. Decrease anxiety around parent’s dying.

2. Address multigenerational family dynamics.

a. Address loss of family members.

b. Address son’s suicide and associated feelings.

Closing Phase Goals:

1. Confront Pam’s fears (Guerin, 1:11:1).

a. Improved social life

b. Improved communication.

2. Confront “strong-will and strong-head” personality traits (Guerin, 1:13:56).

Theoretical Interventions & Proposed Outcomes:

1. Genogram: a graphic chart utilized to map the familial relationships and

lifecycles of a three-generational system (Gladding, 2015). Herein, the

dynamics, rules, associations, boundaries, and structural patterns within a

family are highlighted and organized (Gladding, 2015).

a. A genogram will offer a succinct and pictorial account of Adrian,

Judy, and Pam’s closed family system. It will abridge the sizable

amount of demographics and historical data that will shed light on the

intricate patterns which drive the family dysfunctions and maladaptive

behaviors (Gladding, 2015). This intervention provides an organized

Commented [LS5]: Review APA for correct way to cite – great attempt though!





tracking system and offers the counselor an opportunity to engage and

connect with the family.

2. Relationship Experiments: tasks assigned, by the counselor, to each individual

family member in order toto initiate the process by which dysfunctional

patterns are reframed and diluted (Gladding, 2015).

a. After a counselor has successfully identified the maladaptive life

cycles and patters that cause distress within the family system, targeted

tasks can be ascribed with the intention of rebuilding new and

productive patterns.

Structural Family Therapy Treatment Plan

Problem: Adrian and Judy are generally frustrated by the therapeutic process. Their

goals have not been met within their previous sessions and not enough

improvement has been made. The parents of Pam, their adult daughter, do

not feel that Pam communicates in a positive and healthy manner. Pam has

a tendency totends to react violently out of pent up anger but is unable to

appropriately express her emotions and their inception. It is believed by

tThe family believes, that Pam is more aggressive and more easily angered

by Judy rather than Adrian. Judy expresses frustration by this disparity.

Pam relies heavily on her parents to provide her basic Activities of Daily

Living such as meal preparation. This is an area of contention between

Pam and Judy. It is a collective belief that Pam is spoiled by her parents.

When she does not get her way, Pam will experience a tantrum-like

behavior. Commented [LS6]: Good work applying the theory.








Early Phase Goals:

1. Joining and Accommodating: establish the counselor as the leader while

adapting to the family’s patterns and worldview.

2. Mapping Family Structure: identify primary systemic patterns of interaction.

a. Focus on day-today interactions in order to shed light on family’

underlining conflicts- primarily between Pam and Judy

b. Compare these transactional patterns to those of Pam and others: such

as co-worker, supervisor, friends, etc.

Middle Phase Goals:

1. Highlight appropriate boundaries.

a. Redistribute power and alter the hierarchical relationship between Pam

and Judy.

b. Improve problem solving skills.

i. Provide psychoeducational training on conflict management


2. Identify the family subsystems.

a. Covert coalition

Closing Phase Goals:

1. Intervene:

a. Improve communication between all members of the family.

b. Repetition of message.

i. Do not allow Pam to dictate transactional patterns.

Commented [LS7]: How might a structural family theorist label the stages?





2. Reestablish appropriate and healthy boundaries.

a. Pam will ask her parents to maintain boundaries and to not give into

her spoiled tendencies.

b. Start with small day-today tasks such as making breakfast on Sunday


Theoretical Interventions & Proposed Outcomes:

1. Spontaneous behavioral sequences: an intervention wherein a counselor hones

in on unprompted interactions between family members. These scenarios

provide a glimpse into the natural mannerisms and interactions between

family members (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003).

a. When a spontaneous interaction occurs, a counselor focuses on the

relational process and assists the family in understanding their

behavioral sequences (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003). A counselor will direct

these interactional patterns towards a healthier and mutually beneficial


2. Enactments: similar tolike spontaneous behavioral sequences, enactment is a

technique wherein the counselor directly tasks the family with reenacting

natural behavior/interactions in order to observe their genuine and unaltered

exchanges (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003). Enactments provide the counselor with

the opportunity to make assessments regarding the familial structure,

subsystems, and transactional patterns (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003).

a. The use of enactments presents an opportunity for counselor

observation, assessment, and confrontation as well as client reflection,





and response (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003). This intervention is also useful

in allowing the counselor an opportunity to provide the family with

alternative behaviors, communication patterns, and interactions.


Treatment plans should consist of two components: goals and interventions (Gerhart &

Tuttle, 2003). While traditionally following basic outlines and formats; they are also individually

tailored to the client’s needs and the counselor’s theoretical approach. In addition to the

theoretical model, presenting problem, and proposed interventions/goals, treatment plans should

also provide contextual information such as separating a parent’s needs from that of their child’s

(Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003). In general, a treatment plan that is well structured and written

irrespective of third-party mandates for reimbursement, creates opportunity for organized and

coordinated efforts as well as effective treatment probabilities (Gerhart & Tuttle, 2003).

Commented [LS8]: Excellent work.






Gehart, D. R., & Tuttle, A. R. (2003). Theory-based treatment planning for marriage and family

therapists. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Gladding, S. T. (2015). Family therapy: history, theory, and practice (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.


Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., & Snyder, D. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th

ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. (Producer). (n.d.). Bowenian family therapy [Motion picture]. [With Philip

Guerin, MD]. United States: Retrieved from the Walden Library

databases (Producer). (n.d.). Structural family therapy [Motion picture]. [With Harry

Aponte, LCSW]. United States: Retrieved from the Walden Library



Excellent application. I could clearly see how you were applying the theories and that

you could differentiate the theories as well. Well done.


Commented [LS9]: Remember that citations and references must match. Also, in APA, when two citations are the same, you must distinguish which citation represents which reference by using

a lowercase letter in the year. See APA manual for when and how to do this.

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