The London SF Regional Group meets monthly in the evening, alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6.00pm to 8.00pm in a central London at BRIEF offices, 7-8 Newbury Street, EC1A 4HU.

The format is chatting and getting drinks for the first half hour, then each sharing what has worked recently i.e. “What have I been pleased to notice” – be it personal life or work life and then we ask the presenter one or two SF questions.  This gives us practice and a discussion point on what actually is an SF question.

Then we choose a topic, or two, to discuss in more depth either arising from the introduction session or something that interests or concerns us. We then use a range of ways to practice our SF skills and experiment with new SF techniques.

The London SF Group has a real mix of people from different backgrounds – those from a therapy background to those using SF in an organisational context. We feel that this gives a real richness to our meetings. New people are always very welcome!

Everyone who is interested in solutions focus who lives in, or near London, is invited to our next meeting which is on:

  • Tuesday 6 May from 6-8pm
  • Weds 4 June from 6-8pm

Do contact Kidge for more details if you want to come and are not already on our regular Meet Up invite list.

Convenor: email – Kidge.Burns at chelwest.nhs.uk

At our October 2012 meeting we had two new members who had heard about us from the Meet Up site. One person was also fairly new to SF and one was new to London. This made for a stimulating meeting as we shared our solution focused reflecting team approach.

At a recent meeting we had a lively group of about a dozen people gathered and, as is our custom, we started the meeting by introducing ourselves with a few words about what we had been pleased to notice recently or what was going well for us. The conversation then turned to the topic of the conduct of the monthly meetings: what would we like to see? Working in 3 groups, we generated a long list and we’d welcome more ideas from any SF practitioner with easy access to central London, whether you have ever attended a meeting or not. This is what we came up with:

· We like the intimacy and security of the group and the mutual trust it engenders
· We value the exchange of ideas about what works (and what doesn’t) and the connections made in this multidisciplinary group
· The emergent nature of the meetings with no pre-announced agenda or topic for discussion has great strength AND there could be value in introducing more structure occasionally.
· Several possible topics were suggested including IGNITE  sessions (http://igniteshow.com) where everyone who wants to has 5 minutes to show 20 slides on a topic of their choice; Skill swap sessions; technique/exercise practice sessions; connections between SF and the world eg Switch (Chip & Dan Heath), Gregory Bateson; radical psychiatry/psychology …; case studies; how to promote SF in the wider world where there are so many issues it could address; invited speakers.
We discussed the location – the wine bars we use give us the room for nothing which means that we don’t have to charge for the meetings. Does the location put some people off? – Please let us know.

We discussed the format:
· having 3 or 4 stages to each meeting works well – the gathering , chatting and drinks buying; the hellos from everyone present; a topic on which to focus; and a closing piece.  We could think about varying the opening question
· adding some structure to the programme through the year for example by having pre-announced topics every 2 or 3 months with a lead speaker/facilitator and everyone encouraged to think about it beforehand
· another possible rhythm would be a 4 month cycle: a topic; cases or skill swaps; no agenda – allow emergence; invites guests as speakers.
We briefly discussed ‘positive promotion’ – how to bring the world’s attention to SF.  It is already used in a wide variety of settings but how do we inspire people who don’t know about it? Using blogs and twitter were seen as valuable resource.

#solutionfocus has already been set up in twitter-land by Steve Freeman, National Development Officer of the UKASFP.

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