Solution Focused Practice has many applications and BRIEF covers the most important of these.
With Solution Focused practice, whatever the application, the same principles apply: determining an agreed outcome, eliciting a detailed description of that outcome and discovering what is already in place to support it. The language might change, for instance, between a head teacher being coached towards success and a five-year-old being helped to discover the advantages of cooperative behaviour but the principles and the task remain the same. Solution Focused Practice is no more than describing possible and preferred futures and discovering how much of them has already happened.
Nonetheless, there are times when it is useful for professionals from particular settings to share their stories of success and learn from each other how to deal with common issues. Our Staying Brief courses, the next stage after a Foundationcourse, offer a Children and Families focus or an Adults focus which represent the two broadest distinctions in professional orientation. The courses are run on identical principles but the case examples, videos and participants are all related to the relevant client group.
Two professional groups have been especially drawn to Solution Focused Practice:
Solution Focused Practice in Schools and Education is a Foundation Course designed for professionals in education. These courses tend to focus on issues like behaviour, attendance, motivation and parent liaison.
Solution Focused Practice in Drug and Alcohol Work has been a ground-breaking course for many professionals in this field. Here motivation is a huge issue and BRIEF’s simple motivation-creating techniques have been especially useful in outreach and hostel work. Here the absence of a need to talk about or even admit the problem has proved a great advantage to professionals and clients alike.
Two further specialisms that cross all client groups are Groupwork and Supervision/Consultation.
Solution Focused Groupwork is becoming increasingly popular and has become a particular interest of Harvey Ratner who runs these courses. Harvey has run groups for young people in different settings including schools but he has also worked in groups with trauma survivors and with parents. The challenge here is to develop ways to encourage stories of success and possibility while attending to most groups’ propensity to share and then ruminate on the more problematic aspects of life.
Solution Focused Consultation and Supervision. As Solution Focused Practice has grown so has the need for appropriate supervision and this course shows how the same principles, describing a way forward and discovering what is already working, can be applied to work with colleagues as much as it can with clients. The Solution Focused approach to consultation and supervision is unique in that the application of a ‘therapeutic’ approach to work with colleagues is often seen as inappropriate and intrusive – implying that there is something needing ‘fixing’ in the colleague. Coaching has been one way around this problem and in essence Solution Focused Practice has a closer fit to coaching than it does to traditional therapy.
Another rapidly expanding (throughout the world) area of application is within organisations and BRIEF runs regular programmes on Leadership and Coaching.
Supervision Groups On a monthly basis there is the opportunity to join an experiential event in which a small group of participants will share the hidden and unnoticed ingredients of their successes as well as help each other find future possibilities in even the most stuck of their current cases.
Steve and Insoo at BRIEF We are opening our extensive video library showing the actual work of the world’s leading Solution Focused Brief Therapists who have, down the years, visited BRIEF and met with our clients. Among them have been the late founders of the approach, Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.
These are monthly afternoon sessions (coinciding with the Supervision Groups held in the morning) tracing, through taped recordings, the development of the approach in the hands of its creators. With no permission to release these tapes to the public this will be the only opportunity to see the originators of Solution Focused Brief Therapy working in the UK.
There are currently no dates stored for this course
SF Practice - 4-day Foundation Programme
Four day foundation course in Solution Focused practice. This 'flag-ship' programme has been the introduction to Solution Focus for many of the UK's leading practitioners. Exciting, energising and inspiring many participants can't wait to get back to their work to use the ideas.
Brief Therapy follow-on courses are an essential part of solution focused skills development. They are intended for professionals already trying to put solution focused brief therapy into practice in their everyday work but who, like us all, are finding areas of difficulty.
What is the status of 'body language' in the SF approach. We know that the words we use are only a small part of the way that we communicate and that our understanding of those words in general conversation is mediated through our processing of 'body language'. So how do SF practitioners think about this?
Chris Iveson is leading teacher of solution-focused focused therapy and one of the founders of Brief in London. He was interviewed by psychiatrist Ben Furman during his teaching trip to Helsinki in October 2015.