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  1. #1
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    Presupposing Change: Solution Focused Therapy

    Presupposing Change
    Counselling Connection
    September 2009

    When clients are focused on changing the negative aspects (or problems) in their lives, positive changes can often be overlooked, minimized or discounted due to the ongoing presence of the problem.

    The solution focused approach challenges counsellors to be attentive to positive changes (however small) that occur in their clients’ lives. Questions that presuppose change can be useful in assisting clients to recognise such changes.

    Questions such as “What’s different, or better since I saw you last time?” This question invites clients to consider the possibility that change (perhaps positive change) has recently occurred in their lives. If evidence of positive change is unavailable, counsellors can pursue a line of questioning that relates to the client’s ability to cope.

    Questions such as:

    1. “How come things aren’t worse for you?
    2. What stopped total disaster from occurring?
    3. How did you avoid falling apart?

    These questions can be followed up by the counsellor positively affirming the client with regard to any action they took to cope. (Geldard & Geldard, 2005)

    Learn more about the Solution Focused approach:






  2. #2
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    Re: Presupposing Change: Solution Focused Therapy

    I love it because so-called client resistance is not assumed, and, if anything, is more seen as therapist resistance

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    Re: Presupposing Change: Solution Focused Therapy

    More videos:





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    Re: Presupposing Change: Solution Focused Therapy

    Excerpt on solution-focused therapy from the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard:

    Consider the story of school counselor John Murphy and one of his students in Covington, Kentucky. Bobby was a ninth grader who was constantly late for class, rarely did his work, was disruptive, and sometimes made loud threats to other kids in the hallways. Bobby's home life was just as chaotic; he'd been shuffled in and out of foster homes and special facilities for kids with behavioral problems. In a traditional counseling session, the therapist digs around for explanations -- why are the patients acting the way they are? But Murphy was no traditional therapist. He practiced something called Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy. During his sessions with Bobby, he ignored the child's problems and focused instead on how to remedy them. Here's a brief exchange from one of their sessions. Notice how Murphy starts by trying to find a bright spot.

    Murphy: Tell me about the times at school when you don't get in trouble as much.
    Bobby: I never get in trouble, well, not a lot, in Ms. Smith's class.
    Murphy: What's different about Ms. Smith's class?
    Bobby:
    I don't know, she's nicer. We get along great.
    Murphy: What exactly does she do that's nicer?

    Murphy wasn't content with Bobby's vague conclusion that Ms. Smith is "nicer." He kept probing until Bobby identified that Ms. Smith always greeted him as soon as he walked into class. (Other teachers, understandably, avoided him.) She gave him easier work, which she knew he could complete. (Bobby is also learning disabled.) And whenever the class started working on an assignment, she'd check with Bobby to make sure he understood the instructions.

    Ms. Smith's class was a bright spot, and as we've seen, anytime you have a bright spot, your mission is to clone it. Using Ms. Smith's class as a model, Murphy gave Bobby's other teachers very practical tips about how to deal with him: Greet Bobby at the door. Make sure he's assigned work he can do. Check to make sure he understands the instructions.

    Over the next three months, Bobby's rate of being sent to the principal's office for a major infraction decreased by 80%. He also made striking progress on day-to-day behavior. Before solutions-focused therapy, his teachers typically rated his performance as acceptable in only one or two out of six class periods per day. After solutions-focused therapy, he was rated as acceptable in four or five of the six periods. Bobby is still not a model student. But he's a lot better.

    Switch: Don't Solve Problems--Copy Success

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