Solution Focused Conversations

Have you ever considered that the specifics of the conversations we have with people we work with can affect outcomes? Many professionals are interested in helping their patients, clients and colleagues move forward, become more motivated and excited about their goals, take control of their lives and work to succeed in their aims. Practitioners learn a lot from common sense and experience. Yet the detail of what we actually say can have a huge influence. In many circumstances, if we just 'tell the person what to do' we are likely to cause resistance or at best an awkward and short-lived compliance. The solution focused approach gives us another way of working — one, incidentally, which lightens the load of the professional. Solution focused practitioners tend to stand straighter and enjoy their work more!

'Solution Focused Conversations' — the course

This is a short course for professionals who use words as an important tool in their work. Nurse or manager, speech therapist or dietitian, doctor, social worker or mental health specialist — these are just some of the disciplines which benefit from the respectful attitude and the precise language tools that make up this approach. Multidisciplinary groups learn well together though this is not essential (as ever the course is tailored to the organisation's requirements). Practitioners working towards behaviour change with individuals or groups will find this way of working particularly useful.

On what is typically a 2-day course, participants will learn about the non-pathologising, appreciative attitude which enables good rapport and a wonderful platform from which to move forward. Then we focus on the language tools — the way we actually conduct a conversation. Recognising strengths, finding out how to develop collaborative goals, discovering exceptions to the problem, and using the helpful scaling tool, are just some of the practical and respectful questioning techniques which build the client's path towards solutions. We also look at ways of wording questions, at pacing and timing, and (if wanted) at group work as well as work with individuals.

Quotes from participants:

"I will definitely be able to apply this training to my practice to make it more effective!" (Social care participant)
"Loved the positive approach which could be used in any situation at work or home. A lovely way to look at life." (NHS Primary Care Trust participant).


The course is practical, active, and enjoyable. Participants will be invited to work in pairs and small groups as well as taking part in whole-group discussions and other activities. Some film clips may be shown. Evaluations are undertaken at the end of the course and a summary will be provided for the commissioning manager. If required, help can also be provided in evaluating the impact of the course on practice.

To discuss your requirements, contact me.