The narrative approach for solution-focused work

Solution-Focused Work is originally a psychotherapy developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg at the beginning of the 1980s. This way of working connects with the ideas of Positive Psychology and is based on empowerment. In this approach the focus is on the future, on earlier successes and on the client’s strengths. There are increasing indications that it leads to better results with clients than does standard care alone. By employing solution-oriented conversational techniques, the care professional’s role becomes much more that of coach, whereas before it was the role of expert. Little research has however been done into the impact on the care professional.

This project investigates the experiences gained by care professionals with Solution-Focused Work and explores the effect of this presumed role change on professional function and professional identity. With the help of a narrative approach we look at how Solution-Focused Work is reflected in the stories of care professionals and care teams and what this says about their professional identity. The research is being conducted by Avelijn, a solution-oriented care institution for people with a mental handicap.