March 4, 2007

Positive Exceptions

One of the most distinctive and helpful features of solution-focused practise is the way it helps people find solutions for problems. The way this is done is to look at what is usually called exceptions or exceptions to the problem. In SF, an assumption is that the intensity of problems fluctuates constantly. There will always have been situations in which the problem was less intense and when things were better. These situations are identified and analyzed because they will often help to find ideas to solve the problem. You can find more on the subject of exceptions in this article which I wrote in 2004: Positive Exceptions.
By the way, since the time I wrote the article I have have begun to think a bit more in terms of past successes or earlier successes, instead of exceptions because I think they capture the essence a bit better. The essence, I think, to identify specific situations in the past in which things have already gone better. This might involve: a) an exception to the problem: the current problem was less problematic, or b) an earlier success: the situation you want to achieve was already happening to some extent.

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