Solution-focused practitioner group
16 SF practitioners joined Marc and myself for our first joint Solution-Focused Practitioner Group on 19th March and it was a great start. My latest blog post will give you a little flavour of it. The next session will take place on 20th May, 9.30-12.30, and you can book your place here. For more information, drop me a line.
In a development I am very excited about I will be joining with Marc Gardiner of the Zebra Collective to run a practitioner group for people who have had some training in solution-focused practice, and wish to meet with others to develop their skills.
Marc and his colleagues have been running similar groups for Zebra in the South West for many years and I have enjoyed taking part in some of these in the past couple of years. These sessions are a continuing professional development service that brings together people committed to working in a solution-focused way to develop skills and build networks.
The first one will be taking place on Friday 19th March, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, on Zoom. More details can be found on the Zebra website. Please drop me a line if you would like more details, or to book a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solution-focused training courses in 2021
I'm beginning to organise some open access courses for 2021. I will be offering a two-day introductory course in January, online on consecutive Fridays, 15th and 22nd January. This is open to all helping professionals and people workers - let me know if you are interested.
Download the flyer.
For those who have completed some introductory training, are using solution-focused practice in their work, and want to develop their skills further, I am offering a Next Steps course, also on consecutive Fridays, 5th and 12th February. Once again, let me know if you're interested.
Download the Next Steps flyer here.
Solution-focused training course in October 2020
I'm delighted to be running a 2-day introductory course in solution-focused practice as part of the Professional Development Virtual Taught Skills Programme run by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). It is open to any helping professional, not only those working in social work, and is to take place online on 2nd October and 9th October.
Download the flyer.
Full details, including how to book, can be found on the BASW website, by following this link.
29.09.20 Workshop - The Pragmatism of Useful Descriptions
Here is something a little bit different, an online workshop in which we'll be looking at connections between solution-focused practice and the philosophy of Richard Rorty, and how the latter might enhance the former. My attention was attracted to Rorty when I noticed the title of his book, Philosophy and Social Hope, and now I cannot get enough of him. There are many parallels between his development of a new pragmatist philosophy, and the development of solution-focused brief therapy by the Milwaukee team.
Pragmatism is more interested in the practical consequences rather than the truth of knowledge claims, and the question "What difference would that make?" might have been made for it.
Download the flyer.
To find out more and to book a place, for just £25, contact John Wheeler, who is kindly hosting the event.
Two pieces of exciting news to report - the Solution-Focused Collective are to host an online conference on Saturday 9th May - more details here - and more to follow, watch this space.
And second, my fellow SF Collective member, Marc Gardiner, and I are beginning a series of recorded conversations. We plan for these to become podcasts, though to begin with we are putting them out as videos. The first one, on Beginnings, is now out and here on my new Conversations with Marc page - enjoy!
Several pieces of news to report in relation to my developing online work. As mentioned below, I delivered the workshop for clinical psychology trainees, and since then I have developed a new page on the website about my online teaching and training. You can also read there about an exciting venture I am engaged in with Leoš Zatloukal of the Dalet institute in Olomouc, Czech Republic. We'll be delivering an online 2-day workshop on community-based solution-focused practice to a group of masters students from Eastern Europe.
Next, watch this space! Marc Gardiner (Zebra Collective) and I will soon be recording the first of an ongoing series of conversations about life, solution-focused practice and everything. We would love it if you were to listen in, once we have recorded it and worked out how and where to upload it (the first episode, on beginnings, will include our reflections on being in the beginning stages of our online journey).
My latest blog post also contains reflections on this, and on how connecting online is still... connecting.
We have regretfully decided to cancel our two open courses that were due to take place in June, in London on 4-5 June, and a joint course we were planning with the Zebra Collective in Edinburgh. We hope our courses will be up and running again soon and will keep you updated.
I have been intending to make more use of online teaching and learning opportunities, especially since launching this new website almost three months ago. Remote, online teaching has now become necessary for universities, and I shall be delivering an online session next week to a group of clinical psychology trainees. I would rather be developing this area of my work in happier circumstances, but at the same time I am glad to be able to assist this university and gain useful experience.
My latest blog post refers tangentially to the Covid-19 crisis, containing a wonderful message of love and hope from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
I hope that you stay well and my best wishes and solidarity go out to you all.
New solution-focused training courses for 2020
I am pleased to announce my first set of training courses for 2020.
I am running two introduction to solution-focused practice courses, in Bethnal Green in East London, in June and November this year.
They will take place at the historic St Margaret's House, which has been a centre of positive social change in the East End since 1889. It is just a five minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube station, which is only one stop from Liverpool Street and easily accessible from London's other mainline stations.
Each course will last for two days, and prices have been held once again at £225, with a 15% discount for self-funders.
There is something magical about introductory solution-focused training courses, with many people who have attended them saying that they changed their lives. Whether or not that happens for you, attending one of these courses is sure to equip you with ideas and skills you can start using in your work straightaway.
Click on the flyer above to enlarge.
2019 sees second edition of Solution-Focused Practice
I was pleased to be asked by my publisher to produce a second edition of my book, Solution-Focused Practice: Effective Communication to Facilitate Change, which first came out in 2014. I was honoured to have endorsements on the back cover of two people in the solution-focused world I respect highly.
Michael Durrant, long the leading light of solution-focused brief therapy in Australia and the founder of the Journal of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, kindly wrote:
"Guy is undoubtedly THE leading figure, internationally, in the “next generation” of Solution Focused practitioners and authors. He presents the Solution-Focused approach systematically in a way that is true to history but which offers his own insights and reflections and is thoroughly accessible and useful."
Monica Rotner, the President of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association in the United States, wrote:
"This book is a lovely balance of the complexity and simplicity with which solution-focused thought occurs and can be applied. Guy is able to dive in to the depth of the solution- focused philosophy, while demonstrating how it can be used practically. The book paints a navigable bridge from 'the thinking’ to ‘the doing’ in the field of solution-focused theory and practice."
There are a few more case examples in the new edition, some thoughts on the centrality of hope and reasons for using the phrase ‘best hopes’, and an updated resources section at the back. I hope the end of chapter summaries add to the book’s clarity and ease of use too.
Available from all good booksellers, and direct from the publisher: macmillanihe.com
A new website for Guy Shennan Associates
I am delighted to be launching my new website. The one it is replacing has served me well, since early 2012, but a change is as good as a rest, as they say.
Thank you very much to Philip Cundall, who has built it for me, and done a great job.
The website covers the part of me that uses solution-focused practice, in the main, so it is largely work-related, covering the therapy, consultation and training I offer in particular. It also has a Resources section, that will be increasing in size as I add videos, articles, powerpoint presentations and hand-outs to it, which I hope people will find useful.
There is also a section I have labelled ‘Community’, which details more collective practices, some of which are aimed at social change rather than individual change. This means that the website’s focus sometimes shifts from work to activism, and I discuss how these boundaries can sometimes be blurred when working with, or taking action with, groups and communities. Working collectively for social change is an exciting development in the solution-focused world at present, which my website reflects.