What it is and what it isn't

A solution-focused approach is not unwordly. It isn't about always being 'positive' because life is more complex than that. And it is far more than just looking for the 'positives'. The 'positives' can be mainly about ticking other people's boxes, sometimes at the expense of the person who we are trying to help. If we can secure 5 good GCSEs for a young person with AS we may think we have done our job. But what if the process has fostered dependency, involved chronic stress, and has focused on the academic at the expense of a wider curriculum. Those 5 GCSEs will on their own cut no ice for that child in the labour market if they cannot take the initiative in the work-place, relate to fellow workers fairly amicably, and suffer from fragile mental health/ low self-esteem.

As the parent of a child with AS we need to be a bit of a Rambo cutting swathes through the institutional jungle, kicking the rocks of needless convention off the path, whilst maintaining a steely-eyed focus on our core mission - to improve the current and future quality of life for our children.

So there is nothing in the least bit 'airy-fairy' about getting a solution-focused head on. We have to unearth our inner-Rambo rather than our inner-Hippy.

This is an integral part of being Solution-Focused. There is no requirement not to snarl at stuff that gets in the way. Respect is reserved for the individual not for any particular system or institution or intervention.  

For more information and courses on Solution-Focused approaches please visit Eileen Murphy's website www.brief-therapy-uk.com