The InterAction Collection

"There is no roof on top of it"

Sharing what’s working in schools

Jan 10, 2021

Tara Gretton and Katrin Berger

Introduced by Katalin Hankovszky

On the SF World Day 2020, Tara Gretton (UK) and Katrin Berger (D) started a network, Solution Focus in Schools (Click link for Facebook page).

The invitation goes to all interested Solution Focus practitioners linked to schools:

  • Teachers
  • Counsellors
  • Headmasters
  • Parents and pupils too!

Online gatherings (every month on the 3rd of the month) keep to a pre-set focus (such as ‘WOWW' or ‘student-driven'). They allow everyone who signs up to bring in their thoughts and experiences.

In this video conversation, the initiators share their aim:

  • A world in which people grow in an environment where people address each child in their resources
  • Where people see the child for what they are and can be, instead of what they aren’t and can’t be
  • Where people provide a caring and appreciative shift to more schools and more people.

Signs of progress exist in the schools where SF already exists as a way of approaching each other and dealing with different issues. Tara’s report on changes in the interactions makes clear, how conversations about the students turn towards more resource focus and generate more motivated mood within teachers.

Steve de Shazer (1998) suggested to think about Solution Focus as a rumour; “a series of stories that circulate within and through therapist communities” (p. 364)1.

In this sense, Solution Focus fits perfectly with schools and networks. There is not only one way to introduce or integrate SF into a school. Teachers can grasp it and go with it, as Katrin explains. With the best understanding of the Solution Focus approach, teachers or schools as an organisation can create their own version and ‘methods’, and integrate it into their practice. They design for themselves new ways to work with Solution Focus in their field and enjoy being creative.

If Solution Focus in schools has diverse ways, if different school communities can start at their own pace and follow their own aim, the best thing practitioners can do is to network! To come together, share stories of their practice and tell others about their inventions and interventions. Networking is how practitioners become even more confident in using Solution Focus by sharing and using SF as a language to discover success.

Anna-Julia Szabó’s description shows that the benefit is double:

  • Practitioners recognise their own story by telling it as a success
  • Listening to each other success stories generates new ideas.

This discussion is informative, inspiring and provides many lessons for organisations outside the educational field.

  1. Miller, G., & de Shazer, S. (1998). Have you heard the latest rumor about…? Solution focused therapy as a rumor. Family Process, 37(3), 363–377. ↩︎

Tara Gretton
Tara Gretton
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Tara Gretton is the founder of ‘Solution Revolution’, is an accredited Solution Focus practitioner, consultant, trainer and social worker. Tara has extensive experience of using the Solution Focus approach with children, young people and their families across Bath, Bristol and Wiltshire in schools and in the community supporting them to achieve their best hopes.

Katrin Berger
Katrin Berger
InterAction Contributorr
SFiO Contributor

Katrin Berger works as a school counsellor in Bremen, Germany. Her favourite tasks are WOWW-Coaching, Children’s Support Groups and SF Child protection work within schools. Besides this, she is self-employed as ‘Lösungswerkstatt’ (Solution Focused workshop facilitator), where she offers training and team building, conflict mediation and coaching. She is a passionate networker and loves to build bridges between people and to support cooperation.

Katalin Hankovszky
Katalin Hankovszky
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Katalin Hankovszky Christiansen M.A., PCC is an independent trainer and coach. Coming from a pedagogical background, she has work in the business and training environments since 1995.

Anna-Julia Szabo
Anna-Julia Szabo
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Anna-Julia Szabo lives in Basel, Switzerland. She was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where solution focused conversations were normal. She now works as a teacher in primary school, applying SF in school with the children, parents and colleagues.