The Centre for Solution Focused Practice

BRIEF Practice Notes

Sharpening Ockham's Razor

Ockham’s razor refers to the principle, propounded by William of Ockham (? – 1347), which states that ‘plurality is never to be posited without need’. Steve de Shazer (1985) in Keys to Solution in Brief Therapy defines the principle in the following terms ‘what can be done with fewer means is done in vain with many’.

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The Language of Solution Focused Brief Therapy

One of the comments often made by participants on workshops and courses is that learning solution focused brief therapy is like learning a new language. It is not just that the therapist is focusing her, and the client's, attention on different content but also that the approach shapes and poses questions in a very particular and rather careful way.

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Positive Affect and the Solution Focused Approach

Many of you will be aware that Steve de Shazer who was central to the initial development of Solution Focused Brief Therapy which has underpinned the subsequent development of the broader and more general SF approach was always reluctant to explain why SFBT worked. People would ask him ‘so what is the theory that underpins Solution Focus?’

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Reading Guide

First stop would be the popular Solution Focused Brief Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques, written by BRIEF (Harvey Ratner, Evan George and Chris Iveson), published by Routledge and available direct from this organisation, which can be used as a self-supervision tool as well as a cover-to-cover read.

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How can we think about the client’s ‘best hopes’?

There are things that continue to puzzle me about the Solution Focused approach – not just interest me but really puzzle me. And the main one that I find myself thinking about over and over is to do with the client’s response to the ‘best hopes’ question. How should we think about the client’s response, what name should we give it, and how should the client’s answer be connected to the rest of the work? Evan George shares some very provisional thoughts.

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