Thanks for your patience. Here is a first draft produced by Kirsten, Ingrid and me. I will paste it here and also attach the same thing as a word.doc.
How do we NOTICE that a piece of work is using the SF approach?
First draft by Kirsten Dierolf, Ingrid Reisch, Mark McKergow
This document is a starting point to be used in developing the SFCT reviewing process. We wish to open a wide discussion about the many different ways of noticing that someone is using the SF approach, and comments and additions are both sought and welcomed.
Readers will note that this is not, and does not seek or claim to be, a complete description of what SF is or is not. We seek a kind of ‘family resemblance’, with traits that might be visible signs of an SF approach. This is a list of ways that we might notice the SF approach in action. Of course, not all of these needs to be present, but these are all signs that might be noted.
Background / bigger picture
• Reference to Insoo Kim Berg, Steve de Shazer and colleagues, and possibly wider environment / history – e.g. Milton Erickson, MRI etc. Clear honouring of these roots. (Claims that it was created or is ‘owned’ by any individual are therefore clear signs that what is being done is something else.)
• The basic unit of our work is a person and their interactions with others. (A person is taken in the sense defined by Rom Harré “the embodied, publicly identifiable and individuatable and unanalysable being around which the human form of life revolves” -- “a point on an experienced trajectory in space and time”). Much of the work would therefore be in ‘person’ grammar (as opposed to molecular grammar or spiritual grammer or whatever).
Basic position of the practitioner
• Change is happening all the time – our role is to find useful change and amplify it
• Taking an interactional view (inbetween not “inside” a person)
• Resource orientation rather then deficit orientation
• Taking a ‘not knowing’ stance: having as few assumptions about the customer as possible, and the customer is the expert on their own lives and desires
• Taking a respectful, non-blaming and co-operative stance
• Working towards their customer’s goals from within their customers’ frames of reference, while keeping their own (external) perspective
• Treating each case as different and develop the process according to the customers rather than their possible fit into a theoretical or conceptual framework (e.g. “diagnosing the customer system from outside”) – therefore the process emerges differently each time based on what the customers say/do/want, to fit the situation
Tools / “What it tends to look like”
Remember, this is not a check-list – not all of these need to be observed.
• Building the conversation on the basis of the customer’s language, metaphors, stories and behaviour
• Using simple, concrete language, “staying at the surface”, avoiding mentalistic language in favour of interactional language
• Promoting descriptions in specific, small, interactional and positive (presence of solutions rather than absence of problems, start of something new rather than stopping something) terms
• Seeking useful change and positive difference in all phases of the process, from before the first session, between sessions and afterwards
• Helping the customers build a description of their own “preferred future” using the miracle question and other “future perfect” oriented questions
• Establishing elements of the “preferred future” which are already happening using scaling questions, exception questions, coping questions, counters questions and other methods
• Identifying and commenting on users’ resources, offering compliments and tasks appropriately
• Seeking and amplifying instances of useful change and/or positive difference between sessions in ways which build the customer’s role, agency, efficacy and choice in participating in such change
• Helping the customer identify and take small constructive steps in the direction of the desired change
• Working from question to question, from instance to instance (“I don’t know what question I asked until I hear what the customer answers”). The practitioner’s next actions depend on the last helpful answers of the customer.