Leading From Behind: Episode 14 - Introduction to Follow-up Sessions

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While follow-up sessions in solution focused practice require many of the same skills, questions and elements of first sessions, there's no question that the structure is often more fluid.  This is because of the many variations and possibilities that a client can bring back for a follow-up session.

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In the first of a series of episodes devoted to this subject, this episode of Leading From Behind offers a general introduction to the conversations we have with clients when they return for a follow-up session.

In particular, we introduce the the classic beginning to such sessions, where the solution focused practitioner asks the question, "What's better?"  As well, we talk about the key follow-up process to this question, where we seek to amplify and reinforce what the client has achieved since the previous section.  

In the resource segment of this episode, we note two books on solution focused practice.  The first is a classic, while the second is a relatively new one: 

Solution Talk:  Hosting Therapeutic Conversations (2001), by Ben Furman an Tapani Ahola

Solution Focused Therapy for the Helping Professions (2011) by Barry Winbolt

Leading From Behind: Episode 13 - Between Session Tasks in Solution Focused Therapy

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Between session tasks, assignments or homework are a common element in psychotherapy.  In this episode of Leading From Behind, we take a look at how, when, and even if,  this practice fits with our understanding of solution focused therapy.

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We also note the importance of characterizing between session tasks as suggestions or experiments, rather than an obligatory assignment that's crucial to the process of change.  Finally, we provide a few examples of the two types of tasks that we might offer to our clients; ones that involve noticing what's wanted and ones that involve doing even small parts of the client's preferred future.

Finally, in the resource segment of this episode, we provide a reminder about some upcoming conferences relating to solution focused practice in three different parts of the world: 

 European Brief Therapy Association annual conference:  September 27-29, 2013 in Bern, Switzerland

Australasian Association for Solution Focused Brief Therapy first annual conference: July 26-28, 2013 in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association annual conference:  November 6-11, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Leading From Behind: Episode 12 - End of Session Feedback (Part 2)

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We continue our examination of end of session feedback by looking at the construction and delivery of the message in our ongoing case example. 

In particular, we review what stands out from the conversation with our client that's worth considering in developing some compliments, validation, a restatement of what's important to the client and, finally, a suggestion or between-session task. 

The use of the solution focused approach with groups is the focus of the resource segment of the podcast.  Two books of note are mentioned that would be useful for anyone with an interest in applying solution focused ideas in this type of helping environment: 

 Solution Focused Groupwork (2007) by John Sharry

Solution Focused Group Therapy (2007) by Linda Metcalf

Leading From Behind: Episode 11 - End of Session Feedback (Part 1)

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One of the unique elements of solution focused therapy is the "break" and the delivery of end-of-session feedback to the client.  In episode 11 of Leading From Behind, we begin the first of two shows devoted to this topic.

In particular, we examine the rationale for providing very deliberate feedback to the client and the importance of taking an actual break to develop it.  We also identify four key components of the feedback.

In the resource segment of this episode we identify three books that serve as examples of the diverse settings where solution focused practice can be utilized.  Links mentioned in the program are as follows:

Hope in Action:  Solution Focused Conversations About Suicide by Heather Fiske (2008)

Solution Focused Treatment of Domestic Violence Offenders:  Accountability For Change by Mo Yee Lee, John Sebold & Adriana Uken (2003)

Signs of Safety by Andrew Turnell & Steve Edwards (1999)

Leading From Behind: Episode 10 - Small Signs of Change in First Sessions

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Eliciting and amplifying small signs of change are a central aspect of solution focused practice.  This is in keeping with the belief that small change leads to larger change.

In episode 10 of Leading From Behind, we take a look at how we explore the idea of a small sign of change as we near the end of a first session. In particular, we underline the importance of being curious about a small sign of change or what the client might notice that would represent a small change, rather than negotiating some kind of next step or action that the client must or need to take. 

In hearing the client's response to this question about small change, we also examine how we often need to use the same skills we use when asking follow-up questions about the client's preferred future.  This can involve the deconstruction of language, adopting a "not-knowing" position and, sometimes, using relationship questions as a way of locating a response that's clear, achievable, specific and behavioural.

In the resource segment of the program, we identify two explanatory articles about solution focused therapy that can be accessed online.  The idea to identify these articles was inspired by a recent question on the solution focused therapy listerv:  "What's a good article to give to someone who isn't familiar with solution focused therapy?"

Solution Focused Brief Therapy by Chris Iveson in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, (2002)

Solution Focused Therapy Treatment Manual for Working With Individuals, by the SFBTA Research Committee (2010) Terry Trepper, Eric McCollum, Peter De Jong, Harry Korman, Wallace Gingerich and Cynthia Franklin