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Conference season!

It’s been too long! But I have some good excuses.

Crossing all the t’s, dotting all the i’s and revising all the proofs for my book, Solution-Focused Practice: Effective Communication to Facilitate Change, for one. Its publication date has been set back to September, unfortunately, but that’s something to look forward to.

And then there’s the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), of which I became chair last week, at the AGM which followed an excellent conference at St Lukes on Old Street, one of the homes of the London Symphony Orchestra. My attendance at that BASW conference was followed by attending the annual BASW Cymru conference on Wednesday, in the attractive mid-Wales town of Llandrindod Wells. I was glad to be able to speak at both, though given the action-packed agendas of both, my words were necessarily brief. I’m pleased to have the opportunity then to have written an article just now for the July/August issue of BASW’s magazine, Professional Social Work, which is more or less my speech written down on paper, minus rhetorical flourishes (and minus the audience participation of the St Lukes occasion). I’ll put it on here after it has been published.

In between the two BASW conferences was the annual conference of the UK Association of Solution-Focused Practice (UKASFP), this year, I am glad to say, in Liverpool – my parents’ home. It was another excellent occasion, deserving of a blog post of its own, though I shouldn’t make any promises. What you need to do, though, is join UKASFP*, and then you can find out about its activities and conferences for yourself. Go to and have a look.

Rob Black, my close friend and associate, and I were delighted to start the conference with our interactive presentation On a Scale from Blue to Red. Beginning with Everton’s theme tune, 'Z Cars', and ending with a rendition by everyone present of You’ll Never Walk Alone, it encouraged the participants to think about who has inspired them in their solution-focused practice and how they hoped to be inspired in the future.

These are the questions they asked each other – you might have a think about them yourself:

Bring to mind someone who has inspired you in your learning of how to do solution-focused practice - what was it about them that inspired you? How do you know they have inspired you? What effects have you noticed in your practice? In what ways are you hoping to be inspired next, maybe over these next two days?                 

*Of course, if you are a social worker, you should be joining BASW too.

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