It is here!


Doing Something Different
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Practices

Edited by Thorana Nelson

First, big kudos to Thorana Nelson: she had the vision to put together this book and the stamina to make that happen. Contacting many different authors, making a case for sharing their expertise and collecting their contributions is no easy feat.

This book is not an introduction to Solution-Focused Practice but rather it is a collection of stories by solution-focused practitioners for anyone interested in Solution-Focus:  it could be titled “Solution-Focus meets real life”.
The book consists of 76 chapters with 76 stories of Solution-Focus as applied in consulting, therapy, training and coaching today. In the book the reader can find items as diverse as advanced techniques & protocols to be used in certain situations; case studies; training strategies and exercises; and outrageous moments in therapy.

The contributors include many well-known names in the Solution-Focused community.

I contributed 3 chapters to the book:

- Reducing Personnel Turnover Rate from 50% to 10%: a case study of a Solution-Focused intervention carried out by me and others in an Italian company to keep young talents from leaving

- Opening for Brief Coaching Session: a script I find very effective for opening Brief-Coaching sessions, where time is at a premium and all that is said (or unsaid) matters

- Change We Can Believe in: a snapshot of a coaching conversation I had with a client where the uniqueness of Solution-Focus practice is put to action

I hope you all enjoy the book!!

Solutionsurfers Brief Coaching Training

Solutionsurfers PURE Brief Coach Training, Module 2, Basel, May 17-19


Sunday night – setting the stage, preparing the room


Fellow co-trainer Jesper Hankovszky Christiansen engages the group after lunch

img_0501My co-trainers Peter Szabò & Jesper Hankovszky Christiansen reflecting on how to make the training even better, while participants are on a coffee break

The Dunning-Kruger Effect


The Dunning-Kruger Effect: people with low levels of ability in a certain field vastly over-rate their talents because they lack the skills to judge their own competence (definition from Mind Hacks Blog).

I see it all the time in trainings: Workshop participants learn something. They get the hang of, say, how to lead a motivational interview, and then I watch in horror as, all of a sudden, they go about touting their skills and marketing themselves as professional interviewers.

This is another reason why I like Solution-Focused practice.
Of course the Dunning-Kruger Effect is still lurking in the background when I lead the Solutionsurfers Training Program for Brief Coaches.
However, as part of the program and inherent in the SF practice itself, lots and lots of positive and specific behavioral feedback is given.
Participants quickly learn to observe details and little cues: what did I say exactly? How did clients respond to that? What did they do specifically? What did they say, and so on.
Trainees are taught to observe, observe and observe, paying close attention to behavioral cues and nuances in the interactions.
They are taught to share those observations with other participants.
They are also taught to think about what they would do differently, if they had the chance to have the same coaching interaction again.

This is a powerful way of defusing the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Granted, it takes time. But I know of no other way,

Our job as trainers is to bring our students quickly to the “other side” of the Dunning-Kruger Effect where improving people’s skills reduces their self-assessment as they also learn to judge their ability level more accurately (again in the words of Mind Hacks Blog).

Paradoxically, then, a trainer does a good job if, at the end of a training program, (on a scale from 1 to 10), the trainees rate their skill levels at a 6, 7 or an 8, rather than at a 10. it means they are being realistic and it means they appreciate the difficulties involved in the skill-set taught. Experience will move the trainees forward on their proficiency scale!

For more thoughts on the issue, check out Coert Visser’s posting.