Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Gordon C. Hopper


The major purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of the Strategic, Short-Term School Counseling (SSTSC) model and traditional counseling models, as used by trained counselors in the elementary school. Drawing upon the work of family therapists Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch (1974) and de Shazer (1985), the researcher specifically proposed the 4-step SSTSC model which utilizes elements of student developmental levels and maximizes inherent capabilities of the school system. Following one individual counseling session, treatment groups were compared. It appeared that students in the SSTSC group improved at a faster rate than did students in the traditional group. More actions were taken by the students in the SSTSC group, who seemed happier and more content in their progress toward achieving goals and solving the problem. The students were able to maintain and continue the improvement simply by means of two brief counselor contacts. Whereas, for the traditional group, equivalent positive change required more and longer counseling sessions. The researcher suggests that intrinsic qualities of the SSTSC model may facilitate such quick, enduring improvement for the students. The results of this study indicate that this model, with underlying themes from successful family therapy approaches, may be a viable counseling model for elementary school counselors;References. de Shazer, S. (1985). Keys to solution in brief therapy. New York: Norton. Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J., & Fisch, R. (1974). Change: Principles of problem formation and problem resolution. New York: Norton.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mary Alice Bruce Christensen



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

128 pages