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Showing posts from 2010

Interview with Claude Steele

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By Coert Visser (2010)

Professor Claude Steele is a social psychologist and the Provost of Columbia University. He has written the book Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us about the work he and his colleagues have done on a phenomenon called 'stereotype threat'. Stereotype threat is the tendency to expect, perceive, and be influenced by negative stereotypes about one’s social category, such as one’s age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, profession, nationality, political affiliation, mental health status, and so on. Stereotype threat can be harmful by creating racial, gender, and social class achievements gaps in schools and in the workplace and tensions across group lines. In this interview Claude Steele explains, among other things, what stereotype threat is and what can be done about it.

How would you explain in simple terms to people like teachers, managers, and policymakers what stereotype threat is and why it is important for them to be inf…

Interview with Wally Gingerich

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By Coert Visser (2010)

Wallace Gingerich is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. As a core member of the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee (BFTC), Wisconsin, in the 1980s, he has been an important contributor to the development of the solution-focused approach. In this interview, he looks back on how and why he joined BFCT and on how the solution-focused approach emerged in the next few years after he joined. Also, he talks about the BRIEFER project and about a soon to be published review of the research on the effectiveness of the solution-focused approach. Finally, he reflects on the ways the solution-focused approach may further develop.

Could you tell a bit about when and how you got involved with the Brief Family Therapy Center?

Income inequality is strongly related to health and social problems

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Coert Visser, 2010


The Relationship between Equality and Thriving Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, two English epidemiologists, have written The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, a provocative book on how high levels of inequality in societies is harmful for everyone within them. Their research shows that while economic policies in developed countries stress the importance of economic growth, economic growth is only an important determinant of the degree to which societies thrive up to a certain point. After a certain point the contribution of further economic growth begins to create only diminishing marginal returns: the relationship between economic growth and certain objectively measurable outcomes, like life expectancy, level off (see figure 1).

Interview with Insoo Kim Berg

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© 2004, Coert Visser
Amsterdam, May 12, 2004 - There is probably not a single person more important to the invention and development of the solution-focused practice than Insoo Kim Berg. This fragile American lady from Korean origin has a gigantic reputation. She is one of the most important inspirators of nearly all of the solution-focused consultants I know. Together with her partner Steve De Shazer, she developed solution-focused brief therapy. Currently, she often travels the world doing consultancy and training people. Last year, she did a workshop in our Dutch training program for consultants and coaches. This year, I met her in an Amsterdam hotel and we had this conversation by the fireplace.