September 29, 2007

A brief history of the solution-focused approach (continued)

Making the video of the development of the solution-focused approach has been great fun. And so was the great response that came to the video. Within a few days it was viewed by hundreds of people. One of them said: "Now I can put faces to names." There were also some interesting suggestions (let's NOT mention the people who suggested they themselves should have been included ;-). I want to restrict the video to people who have contributed before the year 2000. Of course, SF is still very much alive and very much a work in progress but I think it is too early for history writing about this. And I don't feel like doing that anyway. Ok, here are some interesting suggestions. Mark McKergow suggested that Jay Haley is probably better known for his book Uncommon Therapy than the Jesus Christ book. And I think Mark is right. In this case, it was a deliberate choice for the 'Jesus book' because Insoo Kim Berg once told me that this book had been very influential to her (She told me: "I started reading a lot and I came across a text by Jay Haley called 'The power tactics of Jesus Christ'. Can you imagine that? This was a shock! I was shaken up. That was the beginning", source). Mark also told me I misspelled Dick Fisch's name. (It is Fisch, not Fish). My apologies. If I'll make an update, this will be the first thing that will be corrected. Agneta Castenberg and Peter Sundman suggested to include Elam Nunnally, who was part of the development of SF in the very beginning, in a next version. Good idea. A few people suggested Matthew Selekman as another person to add. I myself realized I forgot to add Peter De Jong who probably should have been in the video for cowriting one of the best SF books, Interviewing for Solutions. While making the video I came across this article by Tapio Malinen. In contains many many interesting details about the development of the solution-focused approach. Among other things, it supports Bill O'Hanlons claim of Don Norum's influence (in 1978 he wrote the paper "The Family Has The Solution"). All in all, this process has been very interesting and I learned some interesting new things from doing it. For people who can't get enough, a book chapter by Brian Cade (who is included in the video himself by the way) will be of interest. Its title is 'Springs, Streams and Tributaries: A History of The Brief, Solution-focused Approach' and it will appear in a book which is to appear soon (see here).

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