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About Solutions Focus - Wisdom in Action International

Wisdom in Action


About Solutions Focus


Solutions Focus is a practical and highly effective approach to achieving positive, long-lasting change. It was developed in the early 1980s by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and the Milwaukee school they founded together with other therapists and researchers.

Adopting a pragmatic attitude to helping clients deal with their issues, the group started identifying those interventions which proved most useful for their clients, while moving away from examining the causes of problems. Their findings gave rise to a new methodology and a radical paradigm change in how to solve problems and make sustainable progress.

Solutions Focus is impressively simple in its conception. Its power lies in a dramatic shift of focus on building desired solutions (instead of analysing problems), on what works well (instead of what is wrong) and on existing strengths (rather than weaknesses).

With a wide range of applications for organisations, teams and individuals, this approach is based on a number of fundamental assumptions that underpin the work of all Solutions Focus practitioners:

  • Change is happening all the time. Our task is to focus on and amplify useful change
  • Solution building is a fast track to problem-solving
  • The solution is not necessarily connected to the problem
  • No problem exists all the time. We use the exceptions to build the solution
  • Focus on resources
  • Small actions lead faster to the desired outcome

For an overview of Solutions Focus and for more information on the activities and research of Solutions Focus practitioners visit:

Relevant readings

  • Berg, Insoo Kim and Szabo, Peter: Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions, W.W. Norton and Company, 2005
  • Jackson, Paul Z and McKergow, Mark: The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE, Nicholas Brealey, 2006
  • Meier, Daniel: Team Coaching with the Solutions Circle: A Practical Guide to Solutions Focussed Team Development, Solutions Books, 2005