Tag Archives: Brief Solution Focused Therapy

Podcast Episode 076: What is solution focused therapy?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Solution Focused Therapy has been established in the US since the early 1970’s, but didn’t make an impact in Europe until the mid to late 1980’s.

The approach is largely attributed to Steve de Shazer, and has garnered considerable favour with the attibution of ‘Brief’ in front of its title. Many clients and practitioners alike favour the specific focus on finding solutions through brief interactions and short term interventions. In my work presenting a strengths approach I have often encountered practitioners asking ‘isn’t this a bit like Brief Solution Focused Therapy?’

In this episode I examine the strengths credentials of this approach, with reference to its underlying core principles, the therapeutic roles of clients and practitioners, and its therapeutic approach underpinned by specific lines of inquiry. Discover the secrets of the ‘miracle question’.

For the full content of this episode click the links for iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” [Niels Bohr].

Podcast Episode 067: Strengths-Based Questions

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2When delivering ideas about a strengths approach I am frequently confronted by the need for practitioners to discuss their most extreme example of a severly depressed completely entrenched person who has no strengths.

My immediate response is that everyone has strengths, just on some occasions it is a greater challenge identifying and developing them. The real failure of perception is to take the superficial picture as the whole picture. We need to dig beyond the surface in creative ways that respond to each individual and their personal circumstances.

In this episode I outline 10 questions to keep in mind when the search for strengths proves most challenging. These questions have some similarlity with the approach adopted in Brief Solution Focused Therapy, with an emphasis on exception-finding, scaling, coping and what’s better types of questions.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” [Tom Landry].

Sacred Fools

Working-with-StrengthsAs 2014 draws to a close, and many of you take stock and use a little time to reflect, it is important to celebrate your achievements. For me, this blog and podcast show has been a pure joy to initiate and develop. However, it is underpinned by consistent strengths-based thinking, and I was particularly pleased to be able to publish ‘Working with Strengths…’ this year.

Why listen to the self-styled publicity of the author when you can take the word of an independent expert? The following are extracts from the Foreword written by my very gracious friend Professor Steve Onyett:

Radical in the sense of challenging the status quo. I love the notion of “funky” mental health services where we first break all the rules – not in a spirit of anarchy so much as in recognition of the fact that so many of our current assumptions simply don’t serve. We need more sacred fools who will run into the royal court and fart in front of the King or Queen in order to shake things up and reveal new and better ways.

There is no shortage of guidance around. There is a plethora of exhortations to be positive and focus on strengths from every direction. However, not so many get behind the rhetoric to look with clear and open eyes at how this plays out in reality. This requires that we look not just at what people say they do, but what they do do. It means that we need to look at what happens in practice and learn from that experience.

Steve Morgan is one of our greatest assets in this context. He has been at the forefront of the movement for strengths based practice in mental health services for a long time and has borne witness to both its successes and it’s disappointments. He has brought this invaluable perspective to bear here in a book that tells you pretty much everything there is to know about how things could be, while also equipping you for the stark realities of implementation in challenging contexts. He does this without judgement or cynicism, thereby leaving us with a sense of the possible and a range of first steps that we can take to make it happen. It has been said that a cynic is a passionate person that does not want to be disappointed again (Zander and Zander, 2000). Here Steve talks to the passion rather than the disappointment.

Steve is prepared for the critics
Steve is prepared for the critics