According to the latest research she presents in her book, love is not so much a noun but rather a verb. It is something that emerges in micro-moments of interactions between living beings, when they share a positive emotion, resonate with it in synchrony and build on it to deeply care about each other.
In other words, love is in-between.
This view mirrors the stance of Solution-Focused practitioners when we say that solutions and change and the future all emerge in-between, in the space of dialogue and interaction, rather than being determined by inner drives or outer social pressures.
Seeing how SF and current Positive Psychology thought are somehow converging on this interactional view was quite interesting to behold.
Shawn Achor does an excellent job introducing Positive Psychology in a very funny, engaging way, and in all of 12 minutes.
What I found really interesting was the first graph he showed his audience.
It highlighted the data point which “messed up” the neat averages and trends.
I think in this search for “anomalies” Solution-Focus shares its roots with Positive Psychology.
As Solution-Focused practitioners we do not hide such a data point.
Quite the opposite. We keep asking questions, and specific kind of questions, until we help clients see just those data points. The useful exceptions. What defies negative generalizations and stands out as a success, even if tiny.
“No problem happens 100% of the time. What happens the rest of the time?”.
I also think this attitude in the DNA of the Solution-Focused method of inquiry explains the gap with psychological research. A gap so difficult for many SF practitioners to bridge.
Researchers deal with averages, trends, statistics, constructs.
Solution-Focused practitioners deal with individuals, single episodes of “when things are a little bit better”, details and real-world, observable interactions.
Of course this gap disappears if we are thinking of outcomes to find evidence of Solution-Focus effectiveness. But it is there in the forma mentis of psychological researchers vis-a-vis Solution-Focused practitioners.
Objective: We review all available controlled outcome studies of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) to evaluate evidence of its effectiveness.
Method: Forty-three studies were located and key data abstracted on problem, setting, SFBT intervention, design characteristics, and outcomes.
Results: Thirty-two (74%) of the studies reported significant positive benefit from SFBT; 10 (23%) reported positive trends. The strongest evidence of effectiveness came in the treatment of depression in adults where four separate studies found SFBT to be comparable to well-established alternative treatments. Three studies examined length of treatment and all found SFBT used fewer sessions than alternative therapies.
Conclusion: The studies reviewed provide strong evidence that SFBT is an effective treatment for a wide variety of behavioral and psychological outcomes and, in addition, it may be briefer and therefore less costly than alternative approaches.
- the mantra by Alexandra Stoddard keeps me grounded and has proven itself to be true time and again. Even if I have no clue about what is going on in the coaching conversation, if I stick to the Solution-Focus protocol somehow things turn out great and clients in the end find what they were looking for
- a 2-cent Euro coin: a powerful reminder of how much my opinions are worth, therefore a cue to refrain from giving advice in any way, shape or form. The client is the expert, the client knows best.