Reflections from Steve Freeman

June is looming on the horizon and it’s all set fair for the 2020 UK Association for Solution Focused Practice (UKASFP) Conference on 25th and 26th in Stoke-on-Trent.  This year’s theme is Working with disenfranchised, disadvantaged and disconnected people, which looks like it was designed especially for the SF Collective although it wasn’t.  As with previous conferences there will be workshops on a range of topics. However, it does reflect the way that the social justice strand of previous conferences (which gave rise to the SF Collective) has been embraced by practitioners.

The Solution Focused Collective hope to be hosting a workshop to discuss our progress since last year’s conference in Bath. There have been significant developments in membership, presence and discussion. We will be inviting delegates to share their views on the Collective and our next steps.

I’ve noticed for a while that most attempts to discuss social equality and social justice are based in problem-focused, expertise-based, trauma-obsessed and generally well-meaning thinking. The conference will provide alternatives which view people as inherently competent, are resource-informed and evidence-based.

The UKASFP Conference will have contributors and delegates working with established models such as Housing First. We are hoping to have delegates from organisations, groups and individuals involved in and with experience of homelessness and its related social complexities. Meaningfully adopting Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) by taking a solution-focused approach. Accepting and working with all available expertise.

Research in, and an evidence base for, the solution-focused approach are building. This research often involves the usual suspects in terms of commissioners, participants, methodologies and results. One of the exciting developments which will be presented at the conference is research involving people with lived experience who have specified a solution-focused methodology.

While the conference hasn’t been planned with the SF Collective in mind per se, the themes and delegates suggest that it will be a great forum for the direct action that the Collective is keen to pursue. We hope to create an environment in which the Collective has an opportunity to develop and its themes to coalesce during the conference and to promote and influence practice and thinking.

I’m looking forward to seeing in Stoke the next steps of a Collective whose genesis and development are entwined with UKASFP conferences.

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