despite mainly working internationally, I try to organise at least one Solution Focused training event in Slovenia. In 2020, this will be a Masterclass focusing on supporting young people, families and discovering the use of Solution Focused approach in agencies (schools, social services, parenting services, etc.). Ribalon Institute is therefore proudly hosting two special guests from United Kingdom and offering you a 2-day Masterclass in Slovenia for professionals working with families, children and young people in school settings, social services youth field or another educational sector. Here is a detailed Masterclass content, which will take place in Ljubljana on 1st and 2nd February 2020.
The course will:
- introduce you to the principles and practices of solution focused interviewing when working with young people and/or whole families
- teach specific interviewing skills
- relate the learning to your everyday work, taking into account each person’s role and discipline.
The course will be useful to anyone who works with young people and/or their families including social workers, teachers, psychologists, mentors, teaching & learning assistants, youth workers, and anyone else concerned with helping young people and/or families develop. It is also a very good refresher for those who wish to keep their SF skills sharp and up to date. The course will be designed in the broadest sense so that each participant will find a way to apply solution focused skills in the different contexts in which support is likely to be offered. This will include working directly with parents, children, adolescents families and colleagues.
Solution Focused approach
The solution focused approach is based on the principle that we all have our own solutions, including each of our ‘clients’ and the job of the professional is to help their clients discover what these solutions. This is done by focusing on the future, on where the client wants to get to, and then concentrating on helping the client discover his or her own pathway to that future.
The solution focused approach is based a number of core principles:
- All service users have resources and tapping into these resources produces the best outcomes.
- Agency and client outcomes need to be equally addressed in order to maximise collaborative working.
- Building on success is one of the most effective ways to produce rapid change.
- We are the experts in our own lives and each person including each client should have an equality of opportunity to have their voice heard.
Course content and methods
The course will contain a lively mixture of presentation, video of actual sessions, discussion, and exercises. The exercises in pairs, threes and small groups are intended to introduce the skills, give participants the chance to practice these skills and offer the opportunity to reflect on current work.
Day one will cover all the basic building blocks of solution focused interviewing and will serve as both an introduction and as a refresher to the approach. Its main focus will be working one-on-one, with specific focus on young people and/or their parents.
Day two will build on the introductory skills giving participants a chance to develop their skills in a way that fits their everyday work. The focus will be on working with groups/whole units/multiple agencies.
As each course group will undoubtedly bring different skills and their clients will also present different challenges, so will our course be a unique event. All courses we offer teach the essential Solution Focused skills, but the balance of talking, watching video and practicing will show slight variations. Our courses are known for their flexibility and responsiveness, based on what we learned from BRIEF, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ of solution focused training across the world.
Day 1 (1st February 2020): Working Solution Focused 1-2-1 with individuals
- Participants’ stories of good practice
- Overview of solution focused practice: intentions behind Solution Focused questions
- Solution focused Listening when working one-on-one with young people, children, parents or professionals
- 5-10 minutes conversations: creating motivation and building conversations
- Charting better futures and (re)discovering hope
Day 2 (2nd February 2020): Working with more than one (whole families, schools, agencies)
- Eliciting competence and resources of groups and whole family units
- Identifying the client’s agenda when working with multiple agencies (i.e. teachers, parents, social services, colleagues in schools)
- Finding out what is already working in negotiating conflict (common best hopes when multiple people are involved)
- Building on success and pathways to good relationships
- Using multiple Solution Focused scales
- Attending to safety (how to work Solution Focused in Problem Focused environments)
Ben Scott trained in Solution Focused Practice with BRIEF in London, and has since gone on to receive accreditation with UKASFP (UK Association of Solution Focused Practice). Ben works in the Education department of Bedford Borough Local Authority, co-ordinating a schools-based Solution Focused service, and providing targeted Solution Focused training to senior school staff. This training targets family support workers, pastoral leads, and Heads of Year. In addition, Ben uses Solution Focused Practice when volunteering for ‘Azalea’, a charity that supports women to exit from sexual exploitation and that offers mentoring to men who purchase sex and wish to quit doing so.
Greg Oberbeck has been using the Solution Focused approach for over seven years now, working with families as part of an ‘edge of care’ team within Essex County Council. In addition to working with families, Greg helps to develop practice through regular workshops, SF supervision as well as SF trainings. He has also wanted to continue to do more with the approach, and so over the past few years has been working with the Young Women’s Trust, providing SF telephone coaching and also has an online-based private practice. Like Ben, Greg has also been trained in Solution Focused Practice with BRIEF in London and is also received accreditation with the UKASFP.
In January 2019 Ben, Greg and myself formed a new organisation in the UK called SF Possibilities, at which we are designing and delivering face-to-face and online training courses in Solution Focused practice in the UK and beyond with the mission of keeping the practice succinct, minimalistic and straightforward. Some of our work you will be able to experience in this two-day Masterclass, which will be geared specifically towards teachers, psychologists, learning support staff, mentors, youth workers, social workers and any other professionals working with children, young people or whole families. The course will be in English, with occasional Slovenian translation upon demand.
How to apply
In the February 2-day Masterclass, you will learn all the essential skills of Solution Focused tools and techniques and will be able to start putting them into practice as soon as you return to work. To book your place, please visit https://forms.gle/QfCvkzCVkVJusJsm8. The cost for the whole Masterclass is 320 eur. One day bookings are also possible (170 eur). For all the queries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are very much looking forward to seeing you in February!
Ben, Biba & Greg