Solution Focused Conversations

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  • An occasional check-in with an adult to ensure that things are on-track, using a numerical scale as a start-point.
  • Predominantly used by therapists, but concepts can be applied in schools
  • Developed in the 70s. Started to appear in schools in the 1990s
  • 'SFBT provides a practical focus on addressing day-to-day issues that may hinder educational achievement such as the relationship with the teacher, attendance problems, transportation issues, or family problems. Teachers and student support teams may deliver interventions that assist in practical solution building. In many cases, school-based social workers deliver their services to students who already have yearly goals for treatment (in their Individualized Education Plan—IEP). SFBT is well-suited to school-based professionals for writing the goals and collaborating with their clients to reach them. By identifying incremental changes, social workers can integrate SFBT into their IEP goals, for example.' - Oxford Research Encyclopaedia

Suggested prompts

  • On a 0-10 scale, where 10 is you at your very best, where are you now?
  • What's allowed you to get there?
  • What's not gone so well? What do you think the barriers have been?
  • How do you think we can move from ... to ... on the scale?
  • What do we need to put in place?
  • Where do you think you'd like to get up to? When by?

Further Reading

Example (therapeutic) conversation with a primary child) Barry Winbolt - Blog post on SF therapy