September 19, 2012

Solution-Focused Coaching of Staff of People With Severe and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities

Solution-Focused Coaching of Staff of People With Severe and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities: A Case Series

John M. Roeden, Marian A. Maaskant, Fredrike P. Bannink, & Leopold M. G. Curfs 

Abstract: Solution-focused coaching (SFC) represents a short-term, future-focused, and person-directed therapeutic approach that helps people focus on solutions rather than problems. Thirteen cases of SFC of staff dealing with people with severe and moderate intellectual disabilities (S/MID) are described. In all 13 cases, the progress toward the team goal, proactive thinking of staff, and the quality of the relationship (QOR) between staff and people with S/MID were measured directly before SFC, directly after SFC, and 6 weeks after SFC. After SFC, progress toward the team goal was found in seven out of 13 teams, improvement of proactive thinking was found in 5/10 teams and improvement of the QOR was found in 7/13 teams. With regard to individual staff members, improvement of proactive thinking was found in 12/34 staff members and improvement of the QOR was found in 22/42 staff members. The authors note that SFC stimulates dealing with support problems in a behavioral, proactive way and that SFC can be a useful approach to build useful relationships. The findings are in line with results of earlier research on the value of solution-focused brief therapy applied to carers (parents or professionals) of people with ID. Future investigation of SFC, preferably using a randomized controlled design, could test the hypothesis that SFC can increase self-efficacy and proactive thinking in teams, can positively alter staff's perceptions of people with ID, and that teams find it a useful approach.

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