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Key techniques Key techniques

Goal set ing Focus on behaviour Whatever goal is valid Choice=control

Small steps Scaling Scale questions

Potential to fi nd & develop exceptions & signs of moving up the scale

e.g. where are things now? How would you know?

What would tell you that you have gone higher?

Miracle question

Focus on signs that the miracle is happening/has happened e.g. how would you know?

How would other people know? Who would be the fi rst to notice? After 15-20 minutes, students freely shared some new

connections being identified or some other connections confirmed and validated, drawing from their personal and professional experiences. In order to promote further reflections on personal and

professional connections to the solution-focused model, I then asked students to scale their fit or non fit with the model by positioning themselves physically in the room along an imaginary scale (from 1 to 10). I asked,

How does the solution focused model fi t with you personally and professionally?

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

No fi t _____________________________________________ Total fi t One person found no fit at all with the model, others a good

fit at around 7-8, wanting to develop this more. Most people in the middle would use the model as part of their “tool box”.

Reflecting on own practice now and in the future Most students were more familiar with solution-focused

ideas (as they had received some previous training) than other systemic models e.g. structural or strategic. I therefore asked students to think about a family they were working with and imagine the next session with them. I asked students to think about three things which related to the model they wanted to use with the family. I then asked each one of them to share briefly some details about the family they were thinking of and the three things they could try and do.


Personal domain

Professional domain

I then asked them whether, after applying the model to

their practice and specific context, there was any difference in their position of fit or no fit. Some of them had moved. I asked the reason for their position in relation to the model before and after thinking about their case example to further reflect on their connection to the model in practice. I then asked students to imagine being at the end of their systemic training using future-oriented questions.

Where would you position yourself in relation to the model at the end of your training?

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

No fi t _____________________________________________ Total fi t Some students moved to a higher score, saying they wanted

to develop it more in their practice. Following this, by adapting the miracle question, I asked

students to imagine themselves in their dream job and re- position themselves. I asked:

In your dream job, would you be using any of the solution- focused ideas and techniques?

Where would you position yourself, then? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

No fi t _____________________________________________ Total fi t Again, there was a considerable spread of positions in the

group; some people holding the same position and some people moving, suggesting that the fit with the model may vary across time and contexts. The tutorial ended with the sharing of some overall

reflections on the activity, which most students regarded as “useful and powerful”.

My refl ections on the activity: A dialogical perspective

As a tutor, I thought the tutorial was effective in promoting

self-reflexivity, as it allowed students to take a personal position in relation to the model, own their position and reflect on it. They were invited to engage with their dialogical self as different inner voices were at play (Rober, 2008) and reflected on changing positions as they entered in dialogue with themselves and each other. The activity seemed to create a context for a much more

flexible and rich tapestry of perspectives and views in relation to the model and each student’s own practice and work context, by taking a multiplicity of “I”-positions; as Hermans states, “...self as being composed of a variety of spatial positions and as related to positions of other selves ” (Hermans, 2004, p. 18). It made apparent differences in positioning possible both at an individual and group level to show how multiple perspectives can co-exist and change, a typically systemic both/and approach. A both/and approach was also reflected in the apparent

contradiction between my directive style i.e. giving instructions to students about the activity, and a collaborative stance. As a tutor and group facilitator, I had taken a “directive stance”;

Context February 2012

A training tutorial on solution-focused therapy: A forum of voices sharing their refl ections

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