Leading From Behind: Episode 24 - Solution Focused Practice in the Workplace

In this episode of Leading From Behind, we continue with our general look at some of the many applications of solution focused practice.  This time, we examine some of the ways that solution focused practice has become an increasing presence in the workplace.


Solution focused practice in the workplace often takes the form of coaching - helping individuals, teams and organizations to achieve their best hopes in creating effective work environments.  At the same time, there's an increasing role for training members of organizations to use solution focused practice as defined model of practice in the areas of leadership, planning and workplace relations. 

During this episode, we provide two examples of solution focused practice in the workplace - a case example of a coaching session with a manager and template for working with a team who want to strengthen their performance together.

In the closing resource segment of the program, we highlight the following links:

SOLWorld - Sharing and Building Solution Focused Practice in Organizations

SFWork - The Centre for Solutions Focus at Work

University of Toronto - Solution Focused Brief Coaching program

The Solutions Focus"  The SIMPLE Way to Positive Change (2002) by Paul Z. Jackson & Mark McKergow 

Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions (2005) by Insoo Kim Berg & Peter Szabo

Leading From Behind: Episode 23 - Working with Children & Youth

Regardless of the therapeutic approach, working with children and youth can be very different from working in a helping role with adults.  And this certainly holds true when using a solution focused approach.

In this episode of Leading From Behind, we take a brief and very basic look at some of the general considerations for the solution focused therapist when working with children.  In particular, we highlight the importance of seeing young people (including very young kids) as still having expertise about their own lives.  We also note the importance of building a strong therapeutic alliance with this population, as without it, successful outcomes are often doomed.  Finally, we highlight how creativity can be very important when using some of the common solution focused questions with younger clients.

In the resource segment of the podcast, we highlight the following links.

Working on What Works - two publications by Insoo Kim Berg and Lee Shilts

The website of Ben Furman, creator of Kids Skills

Leading From Behind: Episode 22 - Working With Couples


In this episode of Leading From Behind, we take a general look at using the solution focused approach in working with couples.  While the basic structure or process of working with couples is essentially the same as when we work with individuals, this episode highlights some of the unique differences and challenges when there is more than just one client in the room.

In the resource segment of this episode we highlight the following links relating to solution focused practice with couples:

The work of Elliott Connie

Recreating Partnership:  A Solution-Oriented, Collaborative Approach to Couples Therapy (2001) by Toby Hiller & Phillip Ziegler

Rewriting Love Stories:  Brief Marital Therapy (1994) by Bill O'Hanlon & Patricia Hudson O'Hanlon

Divorce Busting (1993) by Michelle Weiner-Davis

Leading From Behind: Episode 21 - Working With Mandated Clients


In this episode of Leading From Behind, we examine solution focused conversations with mandated or involuntary clients.  For the purposes of this discussion, we describe mandated clients as people who attend sessions reluctantly and who may have little or no agreement with the referral source's description of the problem.

In addressing this subject, we highlight the importance of seeing mandated clients as having expertise about their own lives, and their own good reasons for the adopting the positions they hold.

Our role, as solution focused therapists, is to find a place of collaboration that reflects what's important to the client and what might also be important to the referral source.  Along the way, we note how focusing on exceptions to the problem can be a useful way of building such collaboration.

Resource links in this episode:


United Kingdom Association for Solution Focused Practice  - June 12-13, 2014 at Liverpool, England

European Brief Therapy Association  - September 26-29, 2014 at Leeuwarden, Friesland, The Netherlands

Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association  - November 2014 at Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Social Work Podcast - Also available on iTunes & Stitcher Radio App

Leading From Behind: Episode 20 - Feedback Informed Treatment Practices (Part 2)


Client feedback on the therapeutic alliance and the presence of early change have been identified as the best predictors of outcome in psychotherapy.  The Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS) are tools that help the solution focused practitioner generate this important feedback. 

In this episode of Leading From Behind, we conclude our look at Feedback Informed Treatment practices by examining how the ORS & SRS is administered, scored and then used as way of collaborating with clients in seeking a positive outcome. 

During the resource segment of the episode, we provide more specific information on how to obtain a free personal license for the ORS & SRS.  We also identify a useful online community for clinicians (regardless of therapeutic approach) who use feedback informed treatment practices in their work. 


Performance Metrics page on Scott Miller's website

International Center for Clinical Excellence