The Centre for Solution Focused Practice


Index Of YouTube videos     

This YouTube page has a range of short presentations about the Solution Focused approach that many people have found useful. Here is a list of those ‘talks’, a brief summary of each and a link that will take you directly to each one.

Solution Focused Practice in 8 minutes: 5 key features

Solution Focused Practice is always described as 'simple' - and it is - but doing it is not as easy as it looks. This video outlines 5 key features of this flexible approach which is particularly good at engaging clients and building cooperation whilst not wasting even one session of the client's valuable time.

What are the disadvantages of the Solution Focused Approach?

Everything has an upside and a downside, advantages and disadvantages. What are the disadvantages for clinicians in using the Solution Focused approach?

'What are your Best Hopes from our talking together?'

This video focuses on the question that lies at the very heart of the Solution Focused approach - 'what are your best hopes from our talking together?'. If we do not ask this question, or another similar question, it is difficult to see how our work can be Solution Focused.

What do we do when . . . we disagree with our client? This is the first in a series of videos entitled 'What do you do when . . . ?' The series is based on the questions that course participants often ask us and the sort of answers that we often give.

Things are worse! The question that we ask does not determine the answer that people give. When we ask 'so what has been better since we last spoke' not every client will answer that things have been better. Naturally some will say that things are worse. So what do we do then? How do we respond?

What if people have differing best hopes? What can we do when we are working with more than one person and people have differing best hopes or preferred futures? This video addresses this frequently asked question.

'Negative' clients. Sometimes our clients are overwhelmed by difficulties. Sometimes our clients have been struggling for a while and have 'tried everything'. It really is easy to give up hope. What do we do then? Evan George shares his thoughts. (Subtitles in Finnish are available.)

I want him to change! It is not unusual for people to respond to the 'best hopes' question by saying that they want someone else to change - whether that person be their partner, their child, their boss or social worker. How do we respond in a Solution Focused conversation? This video explores this question and suggests possible pathways.

Tell me what to do (you're the expert) It is normal and natural for people to come to meet with a professional and to want solutions. How do we respond in Solution Focused practice when someone asks us what they should do?

Why does Solution Focus work? Steve de Shazer described the Solution Focused approach as a description of a way of talking with people that made a difference. There was he said no theory of problem nor a theory of change. However very often on courses people ask - 'why do you think that SFBT works?' Here is a possible answer.

Learning Solution Focus - the greatest challenge: 1 People on training programmes often ask 'so what is the hardest thing to learn when you are new to the SF approach'? This video is the first part of an attempt to respond to this question. (Subtitles in Finnish are available.)

Learning Solution Focus - the greatest challenge: 2 Participants on courses often ask 'what is the hardest thing when learning Solution Focus'. Here is the part 2. (Subtitles in Finnish are available.)

Impossible hopes A frequently asked question is 'what do you do when the best hopes are impossible?'. This is not something that happens often – people are typically very realistic – and yet sometimes it does. Here are a few possibilities.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy - 'As if' - a delicate balance

Does Solution Focus work with the past? So often we hear people say that the Solution Focused approach is not interested in the past – this video addresses this understandable over-simplification.

How does Solution Focus 'work through' endings? Thinking about how we end work with people in Solution Focus tells us a lot about the nature of the approach. Here are some thoughts.

How does Solution Focus protect against burnout? Many of us accept that Solution Focus is great for clients - but in what way is SF good for workers? Evan George shares some thoughts. (Subtitles in Finnish are available.)

The idea of worker neutrality in Solution Focused practice. Solution Focus is often stereotyped as a very 'positive' approach with the worker cheering on change. But is this right? The BRIEF team in London no longer thinks of Solution Focus this way.

As long as it takes . . . This phrase which so many of us associate with Steve de Shazer leads us directly to so many of the key assumptions that are associated with the Solution Focused approach. Here we follow this path a little.

Leaving no footprints The phrase that many of us associate with Insoo Kim Berg is the phrase 'leave no footprints in your clients' lives'. Here we explore what this phrase implies and where it leads us in our Solution Focused practice.

Simple but not easy - the Solution Focused approach. 'Simple but not easy'. In what ways is Solution Focused Brief Therapy simple and why is it not easy? Evan George shares some of his thoughts and would welcome your thoughts on this topic.

Best Hopes and Goals in Solution Focused Practice.

Best Hopes lie at the heart of Solution Focused Practice - but in what way are they different from 'goals'. Indeed why do we no longer use the term 'goals' in talking about our work and why is the 'best hopes' question so important to us? So here is the latest but certainly not the last version of our thinking about this.

Solution Focus in a time of Covid-19

Invited by the Systemic Institute of Cyprus to talk about the way that Covid-19 might be 'reconstructing people's realities', Evan recorded this piece. The opening is autobiographical and if you wished you could skip that and start at 02.50. The latter part explores the sort of SF questions that we might use with people struggling with their living at this time.

The Best Hopes Question: a detailed deconstruction.

Evan George takes a very detailed look at the construction of the 'Best hopes' question where every word matters.

Useful conversations in tough times: 3 simple steps

There are lots and lots of people who are looking for a way to talk usefully with people who are distressed by these times that we are living through. Solution Focused practitioners know a lot about useful and minimal conversations. Here is a template based on just three steps that we can share with all those who might be looking for a way of responding, whether that be in the workplace, the family, the church community, the neighbourhood, as a volunteer supporter, teacher, friend. Before offering it to others you might like to try it out yourself!

Becoming BRIEF

This video explores a 20 year journey that the BRIEF team took, shaping and re-shaping the Solution Focused approach.

Working with 'great' clients: 4 simple steps

What if having 'great' clients was not a matter of luck? What if we could do 4 simple things that would increase the likelihood that we had 'great' clients to work with? Evan George believes that 'great' clients do not arrive ready-made, that they are co-constructed. So here are 4 really simple steps that we can take towards this end.

What is Solution Focused Practice in 2020?

The Solution Focused approach is constantly changing and developing. Sometimes our teaching and description can get 'stuck in time' describing something that we used to do, something that we used to think while our practice has moved on. Here Evan is trying to describe the model as he sees it in his practice today. If you have 10 minutes you could compare this description with your description.

Clients really do want to change - The Legacy of Steve de Shazer no. 1

This is the first in a series of videos exploring the legacy of Steve de Shazer and the Milwaukee team. Looking back it is hard to imagine how radical the idea that 'clients really do want to change' was at the time of writing in 1985. And still now there is a body of ideas that seems to get in the way of really believing this. This video explores the impact of Steve's thinking.

Without the therapist's understanding: The Legacy of Steve de Shazer no 2.

The second part of this Legacy of Steve de Shazer ‘series’, focuses on the core of Steve’s thinking that made the Solution Focused approach possible, an idea which we can find encapsulated in two short sentences, the first from 1985 and the second from 1988: ‘Interventions can initiate change without the therapist’s understanding, in any detail, what has been going on’, and ‘Solutions need not be directly related to the problems they are meant to solve’. These two quotes exemplify the separation of the problem creation process and the solution development process that is at the heart of SFBT.

Exploring difference through the past.

Often people view Solution Focus as an approach that is very future-oriented and in some ways that is right. And yet the approach also works with the past. Here we focus on exploring difference through the past.

Using a scale framework: the key practice points

People have begun to question the place of scale questions in our modern and up-to-date version of Solution Focused practice. Evan George argues that there is a place and talks about the key practice issues in making the questions useful.

Advantages of SFBT

Just recently a student from a post-graduate course in SFBT from UCLL in Belgium asked about the advantages of SFBT, the added value that it offers over and above other models of therapy. This is an unusual question and fitted in with some thinking that I have been doing recently.

Endings to beginnings

The shift in significance from session endings to session beginnings in first Solution Focused sessions tells us about how the approach has developed and indeed changed.

‘Perfect day’

A course participant asks about the 'the risks of inviting people to describe their Preferred Future in detail'; might it not lead to despair and hopelessness. And yet our experience is the opposite. Why?

'I don't know - I just don't know'

One of the most commonly asked questions on Solution Focused Practice Foundation programmes is 'so what do you do when people answer the best hopes question by saying 'I don't know'?' This is a good question' to ask since 'I don't know' is probably the most common answer that people give us and what is important to hold in mind is that 'I don't know' does not mean that people will not, often moments later, answer the question. This video describes a structure, a framework, that seems to help people to move from 'I don't know' to workable answers within minutes, very often! What do you do in these circumstances and what thoughts do you have about this framework?



Featured Video

What is SF - a 2020 version of the approach


July 9, 2020