Discussion Post

Week 9: Constructivist Theories and Creative Approaches


Have you ever been with a group of friends or family members who have reminisced about one particular event shared by each of you? The event was the same, but individual perceptions differ. Why is this so?

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Constructivist theories and creativity in counseling (CIC) are grouped together here because both areas consider a person’s individual perception when looking at life circumstances. The role of a constructivist counselor or a counselor using creativity in counseling is one of facilitator, working side by side with a client to focus not on the past but on how a problem looks in the present and how it might look once a problem is solved.

In each of these approaches to counseling, clients are viewed as the experts on their own lives with the capacity and resilience to create solutions to their own problems. One does not have to be a talented painter, singer, or dancer to be creative, but these creative methods can be used to help a client define and communicate problematic issues. There are numerous ways to nurture creativity in ourselves and our clients.

How do we connect with our creative selves and help our clients do the same? Be open to the value of creativity, have fun exploring new ideas, develop your curiosity, practice shifting your perspective, etc. You will grow as a counselor and be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Identify theorists, timeframes, and major constructs of individual theories

· Analyze techniques/interventions associated with individual theories

· Evaluate theories in relation to cases

Learning Resources

Required Readings

West-Olatunji, C. A., & Rush-Ossenbeck, M. (2016). Constructivist theories: Solution-focused and narrative therapies. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.), Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (6th ed., pp. 419–444). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Duffey, T., Halverstroh, S., & Trepal, H. (2016). Creative approaches in counseling and psychotherapy. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.), Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (6th ed., pp. 445–468). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.


Document: Psychoanalytic Case Conceptualization Example (Word document)



Document: Case Studies (Word document)


Required Media


Psychotherapy.net. (Producer). (2011). Creative healing in mental health: Art & drama in assessment & therapy. [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Author.



Expressive Media. (2004). Art therapy has many faces. [Video file]. St. Clairsville, OH: Author.



Discussion: Constructivist Theories and Creative Approaches to Counseling: Case Conceptualization

For this Discussion, you will write a case conceptualization from the point of view of a constructivist or creative approaches counselor.

As you review this week’s Learning Resources and media files, note techniques and interventions, and consider the role of a constructivist or creative approaches counselor in planning treatment. Further, reflect on these types of therapy with respect to developing your own theoretical orientation. In what ways do you find that constructivist or creative approaches with therapy may resonate with your own point of view?

Note:  These are not the full assignment directions! Be sure to read the entire Discussion assignment directions for how to prepare your initial post, what you are posting, and how to respond to your colleagues. 

To Prepare:

· Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider any language and techniques that might be used by a counselor that is specific to each theory.

· Review the Psychoanalytic Case Conceptualization Example found in this week’s Learning Resources and use this document to prepare your initial Discussion post.

· Select one of the four case studies presented in this week’s Learning Resources, and answer the following points from a constructivist or creative approach point of view. Use your Learning Resources and the notes you took on language and technique from the Learning Resources, and integrate examples from the case to support your post. Include the following:

· Presenting Problem

· Treatment Goals

· Identification and explanation of at least two techniques and interventions

· Expected Outcome

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