London SF Group

Join us for our regular networking meeting.

6.00: drink buying/gossip

6.30: introductions with each participant describing something going well this month/week/day/hour!

7.00: Topic of session - facillitated discussion on  

‘When do SF practitioners use their subject expertise?, with some short papers to discuss. 

The challenge is laid out in Chris Iveson’s blog -, in particular this paragraph:

What is entirely missing from this conversation is the coach’s own experience of being interviewed for and interviewing others for academic and employment positions. There is no place for this knowledge in a solution focused interview and having it is unlikely to make a difference. When Louise speaks of her nervousness the coach might have shown a sympathetic face based on a memory of his own nervousness; another coach might show an equally sympathetic face based on her imagining being in a similar position. It is unlikely that Louise would either spot or be interested in the difference. Here again the simplicity of solution focused coaching is clearly evident as is the challenge it presents: being simple isn’t easy. To refrain from the desire to pass on the benefits of our own experience requires great discipline and continues to do so even for the most experienced solution focused coaches.

 Which we might contrast with this extract from a Brian Cade message to the SFT-L, 26 August 1998:

 “The client is expert” is a tactical position taken by the therapist to create a therapeutic relationship that maximizes client competence, not a statement of fact.  As a statement of fact it is meaningless.  Expert in exactly what?  Clearly the client experiences what the client experiences; but how does that make him or her “an expert” in such a complex thing as life, even their own.  Even in terms of the events of client’s lives, perception and memory are notoriously unreliable, subject to complex processes of selection and interpretation.  They clearly know lots more than us about lots more of themselves, but…

To take the “client is expert” position when it is obviously not working is clearly an error.  Why can the client not be an expert in deciding when they want expert advice from us and then make their own mind up about whether or not it might be something they want to follow.

This is the kind of problem that arises when we turn a technique or a stance into a fundamental religious belief or article of faith."

 We can contrast too with the K of OSKAR, which suggests it’s fine in this coaching process context for the coach to share topic Know-how with the client, in a way that is entirely solutions-focused.

8.00 end/more drinks...

Meet other solution-focused practitioners. We're a mix of therapists, coaches, organisation consultants, trainers, counsellors and others who appreciate the SF approach in work and life.

Our meetings sometimes have a topic chosen in advance, and sometimes the themes emerge from discussions during the session.

We are the London branch of both UKASFP - and of SOLworld -

Whatever your level of SF experience, you'll be welcome to join our activities and discussions.

Our meeting takes place on the first Tuesday or Wednesday (alternates) of each month:

Wednesday 6th February

Tuesday 5th March

Wednesday 3rd April


Join or login to comment.

  • Paul Z J.

    Steve de Shazer on the SFT-L October 1998. "If their (mistaken) idea is that SFBT forbids advice - where did that 'idea' come from? - then even tho they know what will work they won't share it with the client. Bull Shit, I'm afraid."

    1 · February 8, 2013

    • NikkiTurton

      I am trying out SF solely in my work for the first time in groups next week. In my 1:1 Careers Guidance sessions I use it as part of the process , but I need to give specific advice as part of the contract obligations and audit trail.

      February 19, 2013

    • Guy S.

      I once read something similar of Insoo's on the list, or heard her say it. But here's the funny thing. I don't recall seeing Steve or Insoo give any advice in the sessions I saw them do, live or on tape, and I don't recall reading about it being part of SF in any articles or books (and I've been reading tons of SF literature recently :). I don't think that's one of Steve's better quotes I'm afraid. Who are these people who "know what will work?!" Wish I could have been at the group.

      March 11, 2013

  • Paul Z J.

    Lively discussion on whether, when and how it may be OK to include advice, experience, information, as part of SF practice.

    February 6, 2013

    • Ali A.

      Thanks Paul - good to see you all last night, really enjoyed this discussion. I resolved to look back at my notes on Chris' SOL 2012 conference workshop in Oxford, which I attended + much enjoyed. Notes now duly checked to find the sentence with "expert" in it, and I thought it worth sharing my findings, since the phrase clearly made an impact at the time. (At this point I duly acknowledge Chris and hope I have reproduced accurately!)

      The context was Chris sharing part of a transcript from work with one of his clients (mother and daughter). Someway through the transcript Chris turned to us and said, "Now here's a compliment you can carry around in your pocket":

      Chris to mother: "*You're* the expert on (..daughter's name..)... "

      My notes after that are sketchy but my guess is that this was followed by a "... So what would be the first sign that...?" question. I have indeed been carrying this round in my pocket ever since and found it very useful.

      2 · February 7, 2013

    • Yasmin J.

      Thanks Ali for the useful compliment. If this scenario is presented in the course I am on I'll have my pen ready.

      February 7, 2013

  • Cornelia D.

    Sorry, can't come this time. Am on holiday. Have a very interesting time. Conny

    February 4, 2013

  • Sue L.

    No maybe option any more! 75% likely of making it this time :-)

    February 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Apologies. I thought I could make it but it won't work. Enjoy!

    January 22, 2013

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