Recently, Leah joined a loose group of professionals who aspire to use Solutions Focus as a tool for individual and social change.
BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL CHANGE
We are solution-focused practitioners and we believe that solution-focused practice is a powerful tool in helping people towards the lives they wish to live.
We know that solution-focused practice can help people to cope with the world and function within it. Sometimes, though, it is the world that needs changing.
We believe that such times are increasing as we see the world often in crisis, socially, politically, economically and environmentally. We believe that these public issues should not be translated into private troubles, and therefore we are committed to social change.
And we believe that the power of the solution-focused approach can be harnessed in the pursuit of social justice.
We believe that social change calls for social action and that solution-focused practitioners can work collectively, taking and creating opportunities to work with groups, organisations and communities, and join in collective actions led by others, including those who are experts by experience.
We believe that solution-focused work by individuals and families remains important and that it can be extended into these collective and community contexts, and that examples of this already exist.
We believe that solution-focused practice with individuals, focused on individual change should also pay attention to the social, cultural and political contexts of people’s lives.
We believe that power analyses and the consciousness of power relations are essential elements of all change work whether working with individuals or groups, or joining together in collective actions.
WORKING TOWARDS SOCIAL JUSTICE
Our best hopes are for social justice manifested in a preferred future of communities characterised by equality, reciprocity and interdependence, which enable people to lead fulfilled lives on their own terms.
We believe there are and always have been instances of this future and progress towards it, wherever people have come together for the greater good.
We are inspired by those who have campaigned for social justice within their communities.
We are inspired too by the campaigning and reforming social workers at that profession’s beginnings, the critical and radical psychologists working for social change, critical psychiatrists who challenge the medicalisation of everyday life and abuses of psychiatry, the pioneers of universal education throughout the world, the community workers who get alongside people developing and agitating for change, and many more besides.
They are part of the history of our preferred future.
TO REALISE OUR HOPES WE AIM TO DEVELOP OUR PRACTICE SO THAT…
- it acknowledges the social, structural and environmental causes of people’s distress and difficulties
- its application with individuals pays attention to the social context
- it extends beyond the realm of the individual to embrace collective and social action
- we evaluate the impact of our solution-focused work, for example, in promoting social justice and equality, focusing beyond evaluation focusing only on individual improvement
- we build links with movements for social justice and equality, and practitioners of other approaches committed to these aims, so that we learn from and enhance each other’s work
- we build links with experts by experience and service user groups and make ourselves accountable to them
- it is accessibe as an approach, making it usable by anyone wanting to make a positive change, including as a form of peer support
- we critically reflect on the ideas and methods we use
- we critically reflect on the extent our work creates or maintains oppressive relations, in both the solution-focused community and the wider context of our work.
WE INVITE OUR FELLOW SOLUTION-FOCUSED PRACTITIONERS!
To join us in our collective aims for a solution-focused practice that retains its power as an approach for individual and organisational change, and is also a socially-minded solution-focused practice, a campaigning solution-focused practice, and a solution-focused practice that we share in solidarity with our communities and make accessible to those most affected by social injustice.