The Centre for Solution Focused Practice

Special Interest Programmes

Solution Focused Practice has many applications and BRIEF can deliver training in relation to most 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:

  1. Solution Focused Practice in Education is a 2-day Foundation Course designed for professionals in education. These courses tend to focus on issues like behaviour, attendance, motivation and parent liaison.
  2. 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. This programme can is now offered on an in-house basis.

Two further specialisms that cross all client groups are Groupwork and Supervision/Consultation and BRIEF is likely to offer training programmes in these areas from time to time.

  1. 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. This course can be offered on an in-house basis.
  2. 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 was early recognised, in particular by Educational Psychologists as having huge potential as a model of consultation and since then others have come to rely on SF as their 'default' approach. It seems clear that when consultees are invited to generate their own ideas about the best way forward then those ideas are more likely to 'fit' and thus to be useable, with the process centralising the competence of the consultee in the work. This programme is mainly delivered on an in-house basis.

Another area of application that is rapidly expanding throughout the world is the use of Solution or Solutions Focus within organisations and BRIEF runs regular programmes on Solution Focused Coaching and occasionally on Solution Focused Leadership.

Solution Focused Consultation and Supervision

Reflective supervisory practices: putting Solution Focus to work 
(this course is mainly delivered on an in-house basis, commissioned by organisations who are keen to enhance the quality of the supervision on offer and thereby to strengthen the service received by service-users)

‘Leading from one step behind’ – Insoo Kim Berg

This two-day event will focus on the case-consultative and developmental aspects of supervision rather than on the managerial side. The workshop will concentrate on the key elements of an approach to supervision that seeks to mirror the empowering, collaborative approach which many organisations are seeking to put in place in their direct work with their service-users. How do supervisors elicit and amplify the supervisee’s competence? What techniques can we use that support supervisees in finding their own best ways forward in complex situations? How do supervisors find ways of steering clear of the difficulties associated with advice-giving? This practical, experiential workshop will seek to explore these issues and more, including a look at a potential structure for group supervision.

Day 1
The first day will include collaborative contracting, establishing preferred outcomes, identifying potential, and exploring pathways to possibility in stuck situations.

Day 2
The second day will include the exploration of the flexible use of scales in supervision, the power of multi-scaling, in addition to experiencing a framework for collaborative group supervision.

Methods and outcomes
Both days will be structured around a series of activities with work in pairs, threes, fours and discussion within the larger group. The course will draw largely on ideas derived from Solutions Focus and AI. The course facilitator will embed the exercises within a coherent framework which will provide participants with a possible framework for their supervisory practice. Each participant will experience the approach both as supervisor and supervisee and will leave the programme with a set of practical conversational frameworks which will build on and supplement their own effective practices.

Special events

Team Talk: Building Excellence with Solution Focused Skills

Location Course Date Price    
We are currently restructuring our courses. Please check back soon.

Working with Children, Working with Parents

Location Course Date Price    
We are currently restructuring our courses. Please check back soon.


Featured Video

Useful conversations in tough times


May 28, 2020