Here is how I replied to that question:Help! I'm confused! At an international workshop on Coaching in Complex Organisations we worked with CAS ... Exciting! However during the process somebody observed that SF describes itself a "theory without a theory". I've not come across this notion before. Can you please elaborate on this?
Hi, Thanks for your question. This notion of an approach without theory is linked to two things: 1) the fact that Steve De Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues developed the solution-focused approach mostly inductively. Between 1978 and 1985 they developed the SF approach by carefully monitoring what works without being primarily inspired by a certain theory. In this article I describe how they did this in more detail, 2) the attitude of not knowing which is used in SF, which Insoo Kim Berg and I have written this article about. In addition to this, Steve De Shazer was very skeptical of theories. He once said: "Theories are at best useless." I would not worry if I were you. Personally, while I do agree with the inductive approach the SFBT people followed and while I do use the posture of not-knowing, I don't agree with Steve's quote. There is nothing inherently wrong with theory. On the contrary, they are inevitable and can be useful. I think the combination of SF with the CAS approach is especially attractive. I like the CAS approach a lot and I and Louis Cauffman have once written an article in Dutch about this combination: 'Complexe problemen oplossingsgericht te lijf'. If you happen to read Dutch (or one of your colleagues you might want to take a look.
Also read: Nonlinear dynamics and SF