Solution Focused Training

Solution Focused Approaches in Behaviour Change Conversations

Solution Focused Practice was developed in the 1980s by practitioners looking for a brief and pragmatic approach to effective communication that facilitates change. Since then it has been used by thousands of people in contexts as wide ranging as physical and mental health care in both acute and community settings, supporting people with addiction, working with families, children and young people, adult social care and end of life care. 

A Solution Focused approach assumes that the client has the knowledge of what would make their life better. The approach allows for future focused, strength based conversations to help individuals make changes which have a positive effect on their health and wellbeing. Solution Focused Practice is built around three principles:

  • If it isn’t broke don’t fix it
  • If it’s working do more of it 
  • If it isn’t working do something else instead.

In keeping with this the two day training is designed to allow participants to experience the approach in order to develop the confidence and practical skills to use in behaviour change conversations.

During the two days we will explore:

  • The component parts and innovative techniques of a solution focused conversation that can be used as a whole, in a planned fashion or more opportunistically in unplanned ways in everyday conversations. 
  • How to use our everyday communication skills of asking and listening to have conversations that explore people at their best, managing to cope and doing things that fit with their aspirations and hopes for a happier, healthier future. 
  • How solution focused approaches relate to other approaches to having change conversations such as Motivational Interviewing and CBT. 
  • Some of the common roadblocks to change that we encounter during our professional practice; our part in them and how we might navigate around them.
  • Explore the common scenarios that come up in solution focused conversations and simple strategies for managing them. 
  • How to support people who feel they are at rock bottom. 
  • How to be Solution focused and avoid becoming solution forced. 
  • Where the solution focused approach fits for you, how you might implement it and what ongoing support you might want and need.

At end of the course you will have the confidence and skills to work collaboratively with people using a solution focused approach to help them to move forward rather than remain stuck in a problem or behaviour. Further reading and resource’s to support ongoing development will be available online. 

 

 

  • I went with asking the Miracle Question with David this morning and him describing how he’d feel fitter and not grasping for breath from rushing about. It made him think that instead of just being a spectator and watching the football match on a Saturday that he could play in the game. Next Tuesday he is booked to play walking football at the Outer West Pool

  • Mrs J had been a patient of mine for a few months. Previous appointments have been very teary as she used the appointment as a chance to talk freely to someone who would (willingly) listen to the chaotic stresses in her life. At our most recent appointment I used a solution focused approach to explore her latest attempt to stop smoking. We looked at the good things she is noticing :“I feel better”, “how does that show up?”, “I don't get so short of breath”, “how are you instead” “I breathe more easily”, “what else?”, “the grandchildren no longer say 'stinky' when they come to my house”, “what else?” “I have more money, that's a biggie” “what else?”…. By the end of the appointment she talked enthusiastically and with confidence about continuing with her no smoking journey

  • A fantastic thought provoking course. I especially liked the process of asking questions to gain a perspective of what life would be like if the problem wasn't there anymore. Zooming in/zooming out scaling questions and saying back are just some of the things I found to be most helpful. I will be putting the above into practice today

  • I had seen a BME client today for my 2nd wellbeing star and we talked through the changes. My client was lowering the numbers as we discussed his situation and goals since he was last seen, near the end I asked him the miracle question of his preferred  future and what would be different, this lead to a more positive conversation which he talked about what he has now and done. It helped the client think towards the preferred future and what would be different by bringing small changes to their awareness

  • At previous clinic appointments with Mr A I had experienced a (repetitive) cycle of remain and change talk, always returning to remain. There was a negative tone to our conversations. Recently I used a solution focused approach. Using the 'miracle question' we explored how his current daily routine might be different. Mr A identified "I would have more energy to go out and not require a sleep in the afternoon". The positivity continued when using the scaling question where he placed himself at 2. We explored what made him “2 and not zero”: "well I currently do some Thai-Chi, and take day trips out with my wife". Without prompting Mr A then started to talk about how he could improve his diet, exercise and general well-being through self-hypnotism, a technique that had previously helped him. He was enthusiastic when leaving the appointment and even spoke with the practice manager saying "I'm going to give this a go

  • The trainer kept me engaged throughout involving practical learning activities. The training provided a different perspective, enabling different views and techniques to be discussed. Having a different perspective will allow me to work with people in a different way, allowing them to open up to broader possibilities. 

  • Mrs K was asked "what is important to you and your health and well-being?” to which she identified "to lose weight". Using the 'miracle question', Mrs K identified that she would have more energy to do things such as "attend to my garden", "what else?", "I could fit in to dresses". When exploring what she is already doing towards this "well I have signed up for an exercise program, I go for walks on my lunch breaks, and I try to eat well". "Amazing how are you managing that?", "I want to put my diabetes in to remission, and I have booked a holiday with my daughter". My personal reflections on this appointment was the level of positivity radiating from Mrs K, namely because she arrived at the appointment looking very forlorn and through discussions she has a very high level of stress and caring responsibilities in her life. She actually made me feel positive by the end! 

  • Having an additional way of working has really opened up opportunity for helping people move forward