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Solution Focused

Brief outline of solution focused coaching

Lisa Turner

on 25 November 2015

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Transcript of Solution Focused

Distinctive Features
It acknowledges stress but focuses on strengths.
The client as assessor - Views goals as individually constructed by the client in a collaborative process.
Collaborative therapeutic relationship

- This view of the clients as the assessor, fundamental shifts the relationship between the client and the social work practitioner.
UtilizationThe main therapeutic task is to uncover and activate resources in clients.
Coaching and Mentoring
Underpinning beliefs
Solution talk exploring what is going well and building on this.
Sessions are not focused on exploring the past.
Clients are asked to identify and describe problems.
Goals are established so that progress can be measured.
If it works, do it more.
If it's not broken, don't fix it.
Clients encouraged to discuss what will be different once problem is solved.
Solution focused
Challenge for client to articulate what they need
Clients fall naturally into problem talking
Contracting for number of sessions is not consistent
Has been said to be theory free
Coach needs to be able to switch from problem focused to solution focused
Have the belief that the solution is within the client.
The miracle question can be tricky for some to answer.
Change the viewing: changing the thought process from the problem to finding a solution. When clients are focussed on the problem, they are not looking for a solution to the problem. Sensitisation.

Change the doing: to identify and support patterns of behaviour that will help to achieve the goal.

This is achieved by using the acronym PEEP:

Preferred outcome – focus on the goal straight away
Exceptions to the problem – look at the times when the problem does not exist.
Existing resources – focus on resources already available to the client
Progress made so far – the coach helps the client to notice success

The Cycle of Self Regulation

Action Plan


Change what is not working Monitor


Celebrate Success

Change the viewing by;

The miracle question; Imagine you woke up one morning and the problem had magically disappeared and the solution was present..............but you didn’t know the solution was there........what would be the first thing you noticed to tell you that the solution was present?
Scaling: On a scale of 1-10,
What would you rate the problem at its best/worst?
Where are you now?
This is a technique that the coach uses to reframe the clients that opens up possibilities.
Client: “I really hate my work”
Coach: “It sounds very unpleasant - tell me, which parts of your job are less unpleasant?”

Steve de Shazer & Insoo Kim Berg
Evidence based psychotherapy approach developed by husband and wife team
First articulated in the late 1970's and early 1980's
Its approach has its roots in therapy
After many years of trying to change problem behaviour, they changed to studying solutions to behaviour
Positive approach allows for good motivation of the coachee.
This can lead to a excellent relation between coach and coachee.
Avoiding a deep examination of the problem and build a picture of where they would like to be, helps coachee to feel capable.
A scale allows the coach to compliment the coachee along the way.
Developing an action plan helps focus on a solution.
Allows coachee to lead session by deciding if they need another session.

Breif. (2008) What is solution focused approach? [Online] Available from: [Accessed on 4 November 2015]

Cavanagh, M. & Grant, A. (2014) The Solution-focused approach to coaching. In: Cox, E.,Bachkirova, T. & Clutterbuck, D. (Eds) The complete handbook of coaching. 2nd Edition. [e-book] London, Sage Publications. Available from: Dawsonera

Focus on solutions. (2013) The Brief Solution-focused model [Online]. Available from:
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