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UKASFP in Edinburgh, 2012

The UK Association for Solution Focused Practice (UKASFP) has continued its practice of hosting its annual conference in beautiful old cities of the UK – Bath last year being followed by Edinburgh last week. The 9th annual conference of UKASFP was another well-attended affair, with participants from the usual eclectic range of contexts, reflecting the versatility of the solution-focused approach. For the second year running, a Texan starred in the opening plenary, with Peter Lehmann of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas giving a very full and informative account of YODA – the Youth Offender Diversion Alternative – a programme for young people charged with a violent offence against a family member, which is producing effective results thus far – full account here.

Often the most useful aspect of these conferences is making contact with people who are doing interesting things, which can be followed up later. I certainly intend to follow up the work of Claudia van Zuiden, who has taken solution-focused practice into Nepal, where she has introduced psychology students, counsellors and mental health workers to the approach. I hope myself to return to Palestine to run more solution-focused courses there at some point, so I am interested in Claudia’s aim of facilitating more workshops in developing countries. Check out her interesting work here.

Another encouraging aspect of the conference was the development of the Scottish Solution-Focused Network, which presented one of the ‘trysts’ on the day before the conference. Credit to the work of Steve Smith and his colleagues, who appear to be making connections within the Scottish Government, which is “actively engaged in developing salutogenic models of public service delivery”. Salutogenic – a new word on me, and very interesting too. Check it out!

The next two UKASFP conferences are in Birmingham in 2013 and Southport/Liverpool 2014 – good to see it moving around the country. If you haven’t already, check out their new, improved website and consider joining. Still a snip at £35.

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