February 22, 2012

Is working solution-focused associated with practitioner well-being?

Ever since I started to work solution-focused I have felt that it contributed to my well-being as a practitioner. I also expected that other practitioners would experience the same. Only once, to my knowledge, has it been experimentally tested how working solution-focused affects practitioners. That study was done by Lafountain en Garner (1996). They compared counselors who worked solution-focused with counselors who did not. Their findings were favorable for the solution-focused approach. They found that counselors using the solution-focused approach reported less exhaustion and depersonalization and felt they could help their clients better. I have done a survey to test my prediction that working solution-focused was associated with benefits for practitioners. On the one hand I expected to find confirmation of my predictions, on the other hand I felt doubt. Reason for my doubt is that I often meet practitioners who use completely different approaches who also are very enthusiastic about their approach and who also seem to be very engaged in their work. I am well aware of how easily we all can fool ourselves, thinking that our approach and view is different and better.

I have just started to analyze the data from the survey for coaches. Basically I am finding correlations as in the matrix below. What do you expect? Care to make a prediction?

Solution Focused Behaviors
scale score based on survey 13 items
Non Solution Focused Behaviors
scale score based on survey 13 items
Solution Focused Mindset
Scale score based on 9 survey items
I am satisfied with my work
I experience a sense of choice and psychological freedom in the things I do and initiate in my work
I feel competent in my work
I feel attached to the people I work with
I feel emotionally exhausted by my work
I feel like I’m watching myself without being able to control my situation
I experience personal accomplishment
I experience high levels of energy and mental resilience while working
I feel strongly involved in my work, and experience inspiration and challenge
I feel fully concentrated and time passes quickly while I am working

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