Throughout the day our mind flies from one place to the next. Sometimes I get the impression that there is order, but more often than not my thoughts seem a completely random pile of impressions and dilemmas. From time to time a dilemma sticks. Your thoughts seem to move in its direction frequently. You observe it and get back to work, but the dilemma seems to come past again and again, at unexpected moments, sometimes a few times a day.

The good news is; there is a solution.

I am keen to share with you the solution-focused approach for which I have followed a training course at the end of 2011 at Solutions Centre in Utrecht. Looking back, the foundations of the solution-focused approach fit me so well that I had already integrated some of it in the work I was doing.

A solution-focused way of working (also called Solution-Focused Brief therapy, SFBT) takes the desired future situation as a starting point. The goal of asking questions is to empower people to find suitable steps towards a desired future situation.

The model was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the 1970/80s, rebelling against the psychotherapy at a time where the therapist acted as an expert and would decide what was best for the client.

I am keen to share some foundations of the solution-focused approach which I have adopted in my way of working with Via Career Coaching.

Asking questions instead of telling what to do

This is a vital part of the solution-focused approach. It is based on the realisation that you are the expert of your own development. You have wisdom about the steps that are best to take but you may not know which ones they are yet. Our conversations are aimed at bringing that knowledge to the surface. I work with you by listening, clarifying the current situation and exploring your desired future situation.

Doing what works

There may be moments when a dilemma or problem does not occur. Looking at these moments may give us hints of the direction in which the solution may lie.

Change is constant

The solution-focused approach is inspired by Buddhism and believes that change is a continuous process. Some changes in ourselves and the world around us are visible and others less so. By focusing our attention on positive changes we can see them more clearly.

The solution is not always related to the dilemma

This statement may come as a surprise as our minds are often focussed on cause and effect relationships.  This is not always the case and I have experienced this a number of times! When the client takes the courageous step of doing something differently, we sometimes find solutions we would have never been able to come up with in advance…


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