Training update - Our online training and workshops are developing apace and collaborations and alliances are in development too. Look around the website where you'll now see news of some of this, and keep a watch out for more to come! 

Discover what Guy Shennan Associates have to offer

Would you like someone to help bring out the best in you or your team? Would you like things to be different - better in some way? Maybe you’re feeling stuck and in need of a new direction - in your life or in your work. 

Or you might be looking for some new ideas and practices for a team or organisation you work in or are responsible for - positive practices with a proven track record of success.

The solution-focused approach is full of ideas and practices that can help. I have been practising solution-focused brief therapy and teaching it to others for many years, and I would love to be able to help you, your team or your organisation.

This website is full of information and ideas, that I hope you will find useful, including on my own experience.

Contact me, by phone - 07795 176356 - or email, if you would like to discuss what I can offer you and how we might work together.


Blog post 1.07.21
SF in contexts of racism & colonialism

Next Steps for website.jpg

By popular demand A second Next Steps course for 2021


What is Solution Focused Practice?

Solution-focused practice began as a way of doing therapy and many people who use it are still therapists. We now talk about solution-focused practice because the approach can be used in many more contexts than just in therapy. It is a way of helping that focuses on people’s hopes and preferred futures, movement that is taking place in these desired directions, and on the strengths and resources that can enable this movement to happen. Another way to understand the solution-focused approach is to notice what its practitioners don’t focus on, which includes problems and causes, assessing and diagnosing. Solution- focused practitioners typically don’t give advice, but rather pay attention to and help draw out people’s own ways of resolving difficulties and making progress.
To find out more, listen to this interview with Guy in the very first of the UKASFP podcast series -

What can I expect if I embark on solution-focused brief therapy?

Most importantly, you can expect to be listened to, very closely indeed, and for your hopes from the therapy to be at the centre of what happens. The questions you are asked will come from what you say and from your hopes in particular, rather than from theories the therapist might have. You can expect not to have to retell problem stories you might have told many times before, while at the same time the therapist will give you space and listen attentively whenever you do need to talk about your difficulties. At these and all other times, you will also experience a curiosity about your strengths and resources, and about your hopes and what you want to be happening in your life. The evidence suggests that solution-focused therapy is an effective approach, and that its useful effects can emerge after a small number of sessions - sometimes just a single session can enable a person to make sufficient changes, with between three and five sessions being an average. A small number of people will continue for more sessions, and find this useful.

What do clients say about their experience of solution-focused therapy?

Here are a few typical comments from clients of mine: “I like the way Guy got me to think of ways of helping myself instead of giving me all the answers.”
“You got me to realise that it wasn’t just Matthew who needed help. You showed me that I needed to change my approach to things as well, without making me feel that I wasn’t a good mother.” “We were always given time, never made to feel that we were a nuisance and always came away feeling more positive.”
“Questions were asked of us which made us think about things in a different way.”
“After using this service for a second time, it has given me the confidence to not only make a decision but to believe in that decision, and carry it forward and change the parts of my life I felt out of control in.”

Who can benefit from solution-focused therapy and from solution-focused practice more generally?

The research is positive, with studies consistently suggesting that most people who have solution-focused therapy find it useful, and there is evidence that where it is not effective it does not appear to do any harm. Regarding who can benefit from it, there do not appear to be any client groups or types of problem where a solution-focused approach has not proved useful at some point.
So, given that the research doesn’t indicate a 100% success rate - no therapy could claim that - this could be summed up as: Solution-focused therapy could help anyone, but it won’t help everyone. As it can’t be predicted in advance who it won’t help, it might well be worth giving it a go, especially as when it does help this tends to happen after only a small number of sessions.

What experience does Guy have?

My experience in social care and therapeutic work goes all the way back to 1983, after I left University and spent a year doing full-time voluntary work, to help me decide if this was the sort of work I wanted to do. I qualified as a social worker over 30 years ago, and first trained in solution-focused brief therapy in 1995. I first worked in the field of adult mental health in 1984, and much of my time as a social worker, from 1989 to 2004 was spent working with children and families. Since then I have specialised as a solution-focused therapist and counsellor, working with individuals, families and groups. I also have considerable experience as a supervisor and consultant, with individuals and groups of workers.

Who can attend Guy’s training courses?

My courses are usually aimed at people who are already working in a helping capacity, so that they can gain additional skills to use in what they do.
Anyone who talks or communicates in some way with others, in order to help change to happen, to help resolve problems or achieve goals, is likely to find solution-focused practice a relevant and helpful approach, and so would be welcome to come on one of my courses.

How does Guy approach his training?

I wrote a piece about solution-focused training a few years back, which you can find on my Resources page. It conveys the excitement I still feel about training and supporting people in using this approach. It talks about what is different about solution-focused training, which I believe includes the following: It gets straight on with it! - 5 minutes into my first course and I was already practising a solution-focused conversation. An assumption of competence – We assume that trainees bring lots of abilities in working with people and build on these. Learning by doing – You don’t learn to drive in the passenger’s seat! Solution-focused training is light on presentations of theory and heavy on practice. Appreciative feedback – We focus on what trainees are doing well throughout. Tracking progress – We enable trainees to pay attention to how their skills are developing. Assuming successful application – On follow-up courses, we assume that learners will have made good use of the skills they have developed, and start from there.

What else does Guy offer?

I offer many other skills and services in addition to therapy and training. I am an experienced supervisor and consultant, with teams and groups as well as individual professionals. I am an experienced workshop presenter and keynote speaker, and my facilitation and chairing skills were developed to a high level during my time as Chair of the British Association of Social Workers.

What people say about Guy Shennan Associates

“Let me thank you for the brilliant training we received last week. I found the whole ethos, structure and delivery of Solution Brief Therapy totally motivating and inspiring, and know the training will be extremely useful in our service delivery to empower families.”

Assistant Children’s Centre Co-ordinator



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