The Solution Focused approach, due to its focus on the future and on “bringing out the best in people”, has found a natural home in education-related services. Whether this is in schools (both primary and secondary) or higher education, and whether it is in relation to ancillary services such as educational psychology, education welfare, mentoring and counselling, the thinking and the techniques can play a vital role in enhancing the learning and the behaviour of young people and adults.
Teachers and lecturers find a ready use for an approach that is practical, brief and ‘here-and-now’. They are able to use the solution focused approach in encouraging individual students to work out their preferred outcomes for their learning and their attendance at school and on courses, and to discover and amplify what they are already able to do to achieve their hopes.Â There are many texts that discuss how the solution focused approach can be used with groups and there is also literature on the WOWW Project “Working on What Works” which is about the use of the approach as an observational tool in classrooms.
For those working in a more therapeutic way with children and young people, the focus on what the child him, or herself, wants and what they are already good at, creates a ready means of building collaboration with even the most reluctant of students. It enables parents not to feel blamed for their children’s problems and it is an approach that is adaptable regardless of the presenting problem, or diagnosis.
Two books that feature the work of British educational practitioners are, ‘Solutions in Schools: Creative Applications of Solution Focused Brief Thinking with Young People and Adults’, edited by Yasmin Ajmal and Ioan Rees, and ‘Solution Focused Schools: Anti-Bullying and Beyond’, by Sue Young. Both books are published by BT Press.