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What is solution focus?

Our approach to change is to build on what is already there and what is already working, to plan improvements over time in an incremental way.  We do not believe that over-emphasis on the root cause, or analysis of a problem should be the main focus for achieving effectivie change.   The solution focused approach originated in Milwaukee, with the work of Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg at the Brief Therapy Family Centre.  However, it is now becoming more widely used the UK and Eurpope, as well as the US, in the public and private sectors, as a powerful method of positive, practical change with individuals, teams and organisations.

Many people instinctively apply this approach in an unstructured way and know from experience that focusing on what works well, provides a better basis for moving forward than focusing on the negative.

The value of adopting a more formal solution focused approach is that it provides a framework which can be applied consistently and powerfully across an organisation at all levels - from personal development to strategic planning.  Applying SF principles in a conscious and structured way enables managers to tackle both everyday and longer-term challenges issues in a more effective and coherent manner.

In our consultancy work we use solution focused methods to help create a sustainable way forward that is owned by the organisation and which will not lose momentum as soon as we complete our part of the project. Additionally we aim to add value by encouraging managers and staff to consider how they approach change and engage users of services.  

Our solution focus model is based on the SIMPLE acronym:

S olutions not problems
I  nbetween – the action is in the inter-action
M ake use of what’s there
P ossibilities – past, present and future
L anguage – simply said
E very case is different

If you would like to know more about this model, complete the feedback form on the Contact page and we will send you some further information. Alternatively, have a look at the core solutions focus text – “The Solutions Focus” by Paul Z.Jackson and Mark McKergow (ISBN 1-85788-270-9).                     

 The Solutions Focus

ORCHARD SOLUTIONS: positive approaches to change - empowering managers, staff and service users
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