The Appreciative Advising Revolution
Book Being Reviewed:
Bloom, J. L., Hutson, B. L., & He, Y. (2008). The appreciative advising revolution. Urbana Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing.
Robinson, C., & Gibson, D.M.
College Counseling/Student Affairs
College, Communication, High school
The 2008 book The Appreciative Advising Revolution provides a six-stage theoretical framework for working one-on-one with students. Although termed "advising," the appreciative framework is built on the theory of appreciative inquiry, which is currently used in hundreds of service-based fields and is applicable to any counseling and wellness service. Different from other models, the authors outline a method for counselors to emphasize asking positive, open-ended questions that elicit the strengths of a client. The framework is both exploratory and action-oriented and is built on seven years' of data demonstrating its effectiveness.
The six phases of Appreciative Advising include Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don't Settle. The Disarm phase emphasizes the importance of counselors' creating a safe, welcoming environment for clients. Social psychology literature demonstrates that clients determine if a counselor will be helpful within the first three seconds of interacting. Thus, the appreciative framework believes disarming a client early allows for a more impactful session. The Discover phase outlines a series of questions intended to elicit stories from the client; a counseling method called narrative inquiry. Sample questions include: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? Or Tell me about a time when you positively impacted someone else's life? The Dream phase focuses on the "wildest hopes and dreams" of the client. A sample Dream question is: If salary, education, and time were irrelevant, what is your ideal job? The Design phase is where the counselor and client work together to co-create a plan.
Tangible steps are outlined and referrals are made to encourage action. The Deliver phase is all about action for the client and follow-up for the counselor. Encouragement is provided and successes are celebrated. Finally, the Don't Settle phase asks the client to continue to raise his/her internal bar of expectation. This book provides counselors, advisors, and other one-on-one consultants with a new and innovative delivery method. Given the recent movement in positive psychology and emphasis on strengths, the Appreciative Advising framework can serve as a great resource for counselors. By emphasizing strengths and accomplishments, clients leave Appreciative sessions feeling empowered and more likely to engage in behaviors that are positive and beneficial; all of which can apply to a student's academic, personal/social, and career development needs.
Originally posted on 12/6/2012 at csi-net.org