It’s not my intention to give full information or an extensive discussion on every theory. This website is intended to be a starting point and the main difference with other websites is the visual representation of the theory, which I hope will help get to grips with the theory. There are also links it the bottom to get your further research started.

3 Step Storyboarding Model

Bill Law 2008


Bill Law’s final major contribution to career guidance was in my view far removed from the DOTS model, even new DOTS and was completely rooted in the narrative approach to career counselling.

Law’s storyboarding approach revolves around the principle of the ‘turning-p0int’; which is “an episode in a person’s life when a possible change-of direction comes into view” (Law, 2010). This requires flexibility, which is key to any transition. There scene story boarding aims to offer a tool to reflect, not on ‘what shall I do?’ but on ‘why should I bother?’ (Law, 2012, p. 3) . It is aimed at promoting reflective consideration of significant episodes in a client’s life and Law proposes that this can be practised by creating distance by using significant episodes in other people’s lives first. It’s filmic format prompts questions about the scene in front of the client that is aimed at showing familiar scenes ‘from the outside’ from a new perspective, as it were. It allows description of what happened and a tool for examining why and how, for instance. Law (2012) proposes that it engages people in:

  • Linking reflective narrative to remembered experiences
  • Using a combination of words and images
  • Seeing one’s self both as individual and with others
  • Interweaving thoughts and feelings
  • Inviting a person to be a witness to their own life
  • Anticipating action.


3 Step Storyboarding in practice

Just like the narrative counselling approach proposed by Savickas and Cochran in 1997, Law’s approach is highly structured and divided up in three stages. In law’s case the second and third stage have in turn three sub-stages, as illustrated below:

  • Developing ideas
  • Story-boarding
    • Opening scene
    • Big scene
    • Following scene
  • Futuring – life develops forwards but is made sense of by reflecting backwards
    • List of ‘places’ to go
    • List of people to get in contact with
    • List of things to do

Bill Law career theory on 3 step storyboarding.

I was going to explain more about how to use this model in practice, but realised that this would just be a repetition (at length) of what Bill Law has been kind enough to offer in a handy guide you can download to get up to speed on how his story-boarding approach works. He also offers a lot of tools to help practitioners get to grips with his approach.



I quite like this approach but only in certain circumstances where I know the client is fairly confident using their drawing skills in thinking about, reflecting upon and representing their scenes. This means that there needs to be quite a bit of exploration beforehand, in the first stage of the appointment, to establish whether this would be a good technique to use. I can see this work better in a class setting where the client is not in a one to one situation with a professional, being self-conscious about their drawing skills.

I think this would also work best with younger clients, rather than adults. Unless they are willing to engage with this and are open to trying this out, which is the only way you can present storyboarding I feel. This is just my opinion without using this technique, however. So I’m fully prepared to stand corrected. I’m keen to see how this works in practice myself and will see how I can fit this in with someone in the near future. I know the narrative approach can work really well once the practitioner has found the confidence (and courage!) to ‘give it a go’ and been able to find a client who is willing to do the same.

What do you think? Have you used this or something similar in the past, either within a group setting or one to one? If so, what was your experience?

Especially with this theory or model I would urge you to look further into the resources below, especially those from Bill Law himself on the ‘hihohiho’ website.


Useful links

Further reading and Reference: