The Centre for Solution Focused Practice

2019 at BRIEF

The BRIEF team, Chris, Evan and Harvey, first came across the Solution Focused approach in 1987; it was of course a life changing moment for us. Until then there had been no Solution Focused trainings in the UK as far as we were and indeed as far as we remain aware and there were no teams in the UK using and experimenting with the approach. And so we were pioneers and exploring the approach, reading the book, for there only was one book, and studying the articles by Steve de Shazer and his team was so exciting; it felt so different, such an adventure. However back then, more than 30 years ago, I could not possibly have imagined that the approach would continue to excite all these years later, would continue to challenge and to interest us and to engage us. Solution Focused Brief Therapy really has, in a wonderful sense, been a gift that has never stopped giving. Without SFBT I suspect that by now I would have given up working in our field, probably finding many other things more interesting as a way of spending my time, perhaps seeing other priorities for my energies.

So as we come to the end of another year, as we look back over 2019 and look forward to 2020, let us again express our appreciation. Thank-you to Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg, to Eve Lipchik and to all of the Milwaukee team. Thank-you to those of you who have written the books and led the workshops that have made SFBT accessible to a wider, and wider, group of people. Thank-you to the conference organisers and to those of you who have set up and supported the national associations across the world. Thanks to those of you who have trusted the model and brought it into your organisations, seeing in its values and practices, an approach that perhaps reflects your best hopes for how you want the users of your services to be treated, thought about, responded to in our increasingly pressured, indeed time-pressured, world.

One thing that makes us proud at BRIEF is that our thinking is continuing to change and to develop, our thinking about therapy and coaching and our thinking about training. Some of these changes have been documented here on this page and will have been evident to you all. However what has not been flagged up to the same extent is that after 13 years delivering the very successful BRIEF Diploma, a programme that has been undertaken by many who might now be regarded as leaders in our field, we have paused and reflected and from January are offering a new course, the Advanced Certificate Course in SF Practice. The new shape reflects changes in the training and accreditation environment to fit with a new decade, a new culture. And in addition 2019 has seen two members of the team co-author new books, Harvey Ratner collaborating with our old colleague Yasmin Ajmal, to produce ‘Solution Focused Practice in Schools’ and Chris Iveson with Susanne Burgstaller producing ‘Team Talk: Building Excellence with Solution Focused Skills’.

Finally can I record with pleasure that this last year BRIEF has been invited to work in 7 countries Belgium (Hasselt), Finland (Helsinki), Germany (Augsburg, Frankfurt), Ireland (Carlow), Netherlands (Rotterdam) South Korea (Seoul) and USA (Taos, New Mexico, Wilmington, North Carolina). In addition we have visited Guernsey again to deliver a four day programme and Wales (Llandaff, Cardiff, Llanedyrn, Swansea) and Northern Ireland (Belfast, Enniskillen). In England we have visited a host of towns and cities Brighton, Chelmsford, Coventry, Croydon, Durham, Ellesmere Port, Esher, Ipswich, Liverpool, Maidstone, Norwich, Oxford, Salford/Manchester, Sheffield, St Helens, Stafford, Telford and Thurrock. And of course we have also worked across London in Bexley, Brent, Camden, City of London, Harrow, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth and Newham. And finally with our friends and colleagues in BRIEF International Elliott Connie and Adam Froerer we have continued to tutor and teach on the BRIEF International on-line Certificate Programme.

So all of us at BRIEF send all of you our thanks for your friendship and company over 2019 and our very best wishes for the New Year as we look forward to further developments in Solution Focus, developments in our model, in the applications of that model and in our approach to sharing these ideas with others.

Ajmal, Yasmin. and Ratner, Harvey. (2020) Solution Focused Practice in Schools: 80 Ideas and Strategies. London: Routledge
Burgstaller, Susanne and Iveson, Chris. (2019) Team talk: Building Excellence with Solution Focused Skills. www.teamtalk.usolvit.com

Evan George
London
29th December 2019