Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Solution-Focused Interviewing

Solution-Focused Interviewing: Applying Positive Psychology, A Manual for Practitioners

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 136
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Solution-Focused Interviewing
    Book Description:

    Based on Warner's extensive clinical experience and therapy workshops conducted over more than two decades,Solution-Focused Interviewingis the first skill-development manual based on this innovative tri-phase approach to counseling and applied positive psychology.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6805-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)

    • Chapter One Introduction and Overview
      (pp. 3-6)

      Welcome to the study of solution-focused interviewing, an effective, safe, and brief approach to helping others. This approach utilizes client strengths and resources rather than expert-directed problem discussions and answers. There are basically two approaches to conducting helping interviews. What distinguishes the dialogue of these two different approaches is the nature of the questions asked. Questions that are directed at fostering understanding of what is wrong, and particularly any kind of problem exploration or analysis, can be described as problem-focused and deficit-based. Strength-based questions, in contrast, are directed at discovering what the client¹ wants to do about the problem, and...

    • Chapter Two Fast Track to Beginning Practice
      (pp. 7-17)

      Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.


      Too often we offer explanations or observations when we should be engaging in inquiry. It may be gratifying to display knowledge and expertise, but our explanations and observations rarely empower the people to whom we are speaking. Questions, on the other hand, have the power and the potential to evoke and transform thought into an energized belief system that can become life-altering. Questions can create new possibilities, new hope and new inspiration that can lead to transformation and higher levels of functioning and fulfilment.

      Strength-based questions, when used in...

    • Chapter Three Human Development and Models of Psychology
      (pp. 18-38)

      Our unique individual perceptions about human nature profoundly influence our behaviour, sense of well-being, and overall quality of life. No one is spared life-altering, destabilizing experiences. Basic security issues – how safe we feel in the world, how much control we believe we have over our lives, and how best to recover from the ʺslings and arrowsʺ of the human journey – these are the core issues addressed by the models of psychology. My interest in these issues was a motivating factor in my becoming a psychologist.

      One of the biggest surprises for first-year psychology students, myself included, relates to...


    • Chapter Four The Solution-Focused Approach
      (pp. 41-53)

      The solution-focused brief therapy approach can be better understood by contrasting it with the predominant helping model. The central presupposition of the problem-solving paradigm is that lasting resolution requires exploration of the problem, either to promote insight and understanding or to alter the thought and behaviour processes associated with the problem. The necessity of exploring the problem and its causes is based on three assumptions: that psychosocial problems have a specific cause, that the cause can be identified, and that there is a connection between finding the cause and resolving the problem (Walter & Peller, 1992). These assumptions are challenged by...

    • Chapter Five Empathy Phase: Establishing Rapport
      (pp. 54-66)

      In this chapter, the reader will learn

      The components and techniques of effective listening skills

      A way to assess his or her listening skills

      How to identify (and compliment) client strengths and resources

      How to handle emotions and negative feelings in the interview

      The experience of being listened to and feeling understood promotes our sense of being accepted and in some way validates our self-worth. However, one of the most underdeveloped interpersonal skills in our society is the ability to listen. Most people are much better talkers than they are listeners. The purpose of the empathy phase of the solution-building...

    • Chapter Six Goal-Setting Phase: Discovering Whatʹs Wanted
      (pp. 67-81)

      In this chapter, the reader will learn

      The ʺkeyʺ skill of effective solution building.

      How to reframe ʺwhatʹs wrongʺ into ʺwhatʹs wanted.ʺ

      Goal development: the three characteristics of solution-focused goals.

      The kinds of change: classifying goals.

      Before we embark on the goal phase of the solution-building interview, it is important to reiterate that the empathy phase should first be achieved – the client must feel understood and a strong rapport between the client and the interviewer should exist. The most frequent error that my graduate students and workshop participants make is in moving too quickly into asking goal questions. If...

    • Chapter Seven Goal-Striving Phase: Building a Solution
      (pp. 82-102)

      In this chapter, the reader will learn

      More about the five primary intervention questions – the ʺdriversʺ of the solution-focused model;

      Which primary intervention to begin with: choosing a past or future perspective;

      The role of microanalysis and microquestioning in advancing solution building; and

      The importance of end-of-interview feedback, and of assigning a next-step action plan.

      The goal-striving phase can be conceived of as the phase during which clients become empowered to achieve their goals and find their solutions. Clients are empowered by the interviewerʹs skilled use of the ʺdriversʺ – the five primary interventions or questions of solution building....

  6. A Note to the Reader
    (pp. 103-104)
  7. Appendixes

    • Appendix A SFI Questions: Handy Reference
      (pp. 105-106)
    • Appendix B Brief Post-Traumatic Growth Rating Scale
      (pp. 107-108)
    • Appendix C Training and Certification Opportunities
      (pp. 109-111)
    • Appendix D A Paradigm Shift: My Journey
      (pp. 112-118)
  8. References
    (pp. 119-123)