Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations
Anton Stellamans led a sparkling session, in which he took us on a quest for a different kind of philosophy, suggesting that perhaps SF itself is a different kind of philosophy.
I’m not sure I understood all of what was said, but here are my more or less useful misunderstandings of one or two highlights of his presentation and the discussion from that workshop.
Anton asked, ‘How philosophy changes SF?’ Steve de Shazer was a keen (amateur) student of philosophy, and picked up on the ideas of post-structural discourse. In short, the suggestion is that reality and meaning are developed through negotiation, not - as most Western philosophical traditions have held - through general laws and unconscious structures.
In the case which Steve wrote up in 1989 about ‘nymphomania misunderstood as insomnia’, he proposed that the significant change was in the interaction between therapist, husband and wife.
On this view, SF sits in the one-world, non-Platonic, non-dualistic philosophical tradition, whose key figures include Spinoza (who proposed an early philosophy of difference - offering different ways of looking at the same reality); Bateson – with interconnectivity; Derrida, arguing there is nothing outside of the text, merely more text when new commentary is added; and Deleuze.
In the video ‘Coming Through the Ceiling’, Steve de Shazer says speculation is a disease, it hampers the therapist. He prefers the direct route, asking clients what they want and what they can do about what they want. This puts previously overlooked differences of the client to work, constructing new meaning with the client during the therapy conversation.
Things have no hidden 'essence' waiting to be discovered - essentially.
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