Brief Intervention for School Problems : Outcome-Informed Strategies book cover
2nd Edition

Brief Intervention for School Problems
Outcome-Informed Strategies

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ISBN 9781606239308
Published July 19, 2010 by Guilford Press
210 Pages

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Book Description

Every interaction with a young person who is struggling is an opportunity for change. This highly practical guide helps school practitioners find effective solutions to academic and behavioral problems through brief counseling. It shows how to build on the ideas and resources that students, parents, and teachers bring to the intervention process, within an innovative, research-supported, time-limited framework. Extensive case material illustrates the authors' creative approach to building solutions and "busting problems" by putting clients in the driver's seat. Filled with real-world examples from both elementary and secondary settings, the book presents creative strategies for addressing disciplinary problems, poor academic performance, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, and other common difficulties.

Table of Contents

1. Kenny: An Introduction to What Works
2. Empirical Foundations of Effective Intervention
3. Assessment 1: Recruiting the Heroic Client
4. Assessment 2: Becoming Outcome Informed
5. Brief Intervention: Solution Building
6. Brief Intervention: Problem Busting
7. Medication, Children, and Schools: The Guidelines Still Apply, with Jacqueline Sparks
8. Frequently Asked Questions
Appendix A: Index of Client Examples
Appendix B: Outcome and Session Rating Scales
Appendix C: Making the Numbers Count

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John J. Murphy, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Counseling at the University of Central Arkansas, is a practitioner, author, and trainer of brief therapy and strengths-based approaches with children, adolescents, and school problems. Dr. Murphy is a former public school teacher who has been cited as one of the top five school psychologists in the United States. He is a Section Director in the Heart and Soul of Change Project and a featured therapist in the video training series, Child Therapy with the Experts. He continues to practice in schools and to train people throughout the United States and overseas. His website is

Barry L. Duncan, PsyD, is a therapist, trainer, and researcher with over 17,000 hours of clinical experience. He is Director of the Heart and Soul of Change Project (, a practice-driven training and research initiative that focuses on what works in therapy and substance abuse treatment, and more importantly, how to deliver it on the front lines via client-based outcome feedback. Dr. Duncan has authored or coauthored over 100 publications, including 15 books. His most recent books include the second edition of the bestselling Heart and Soul of Change and On Becoming a Better Therapist. He is the codeveloper of the Outcome Rating Scale and Session Rating Scale.




"This text provides a unique, engaging, and practical approach for supporting students as they learn to effectively cope with life challenges. The authors describe how to form an alliance with clients, solicit creative solutions based on previous experiences, support implementation of a plan, evaluate results, and make adjustments based on intervention effects. The process and practices outlined in this fine second edition will make it an appealing resource for school psychologists, counselors, school social workers, and administrators."--Jeff Grimes, MA, Coordinator of Innovation and Best Practices (Retired), Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, Iowa
"Murphy and Duncan have combined empirical research with practical tools and strategies to create a user-friendly approach for student services personnel. The approach is applicable both to early intervention and to other activities involving more intensive emotional/behavioral issues. This book is an excellent resource and one that practitioners will reach for often as they increasingly serve the mental health needs of students."--Mary Alice Myers, EdD, Coordinator of School Psychological Services, Volusia County (Florida) Schools
"Murphy and Duncan serve up a recipe for providing counseling interventions in schools that will be warmly received by all school-based mental health professionals and trainees. This very readable and engaging book uses sample dialogues to illustrate how to implement interventions based in a strong alliance between counselor and client. The practical techniques presented are flexible enough to guide short-term counseling and consultation for a range of problems, and can be adapted to ongoing counseling relationships. This book will be required reading for my graduate courses in school-based mental health. Above all else, it will help my students learn to communicate purposefully and respectfully with students, teachers, and parents, which is the foundation of effective school interventions."--Michael Furlong, PhD, Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

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