Having helpful conversations using a solution focus it’s not just for the psychs


Oct 28, 2020 02:00 PM AEDT


Having helpful conversations using a solution focus: it’s not just for the ‘psychs’ – how can we all use the SF approach to help people move towards a better place?


Over the last 2 years of the Veteran Wellbeing Summit there has been a lot of talk about having a “solution focus”, but what is Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and how does it apply to everyday life and everyday conversation?

This workshop will be a mixture of presentation and discussion where we will VERY briefly go through some of the origins and core elements of the approach. However, the main part of the workshop will be discussion around why it is more beneficial to focus on where you want to go to rather than where you have come from, and on health rather than on illness or disorder. In solution focused language we might call this a ‘preferred future’ i.e. a future without the problem, or at least a future where the problem isn’t as bad or is more manageable. What would that look like, and what strengths and abilities do people already have to get themselves there? 

Raharuhi will also introduce a Maori cultural approach, beginning with a Whakatauki (Proverb) that encompasses an indigenous and integrated model towards health and wellbeing.  The concepts of Whanaungatanga (Family), Wairua (Spirit), Hinengaro (Mind), Tinana (Body), Whenua (Land), Ranginui (Sky) are some of the core significant attributes to personhood and a Maori worldview.


Emma Burns

Emma is a registered psychologist who was introduced to the Solution Focused in 2011. She immediately fell in love with the approach, and has been a passionate advocate for it ever since Emma has worked in mental health, education, traumatic incident response and was the national clinical advisor for suicide bereavement. She is the vice president of the Australasian Solution Focused Association and has a small part-time business delivering training, supervision and counselling.

David Hains

is a mental health Nurse Consultant working in a hospital emergency department in Adelaide. People don’t come to see him because they are having a good day; his job is to have them leaving the ED in a better state than when they arrived, but he may only have a short time to do this. David is the President of the Australasian Solution Focused Association and runs a small private business ‘Left Turn’ as a way to bring his knowledge, experience and passion for the solution-focused approach out of the hospital and into the real world.

Raharuhi (Rah) Koia  –  RF Chaplain Cl 3 (Major) J998829. 1995 – 2016, Army

Raharuhi is currently TF Chaplain with 3/6 Battalion (Tauranga – NZ). Raharuhi has served in Bougainville, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Samoa, and in 2019 assisted HMNZS Wellington in the aftermath of the Whakaari (White Island) eruption.

Raharuhi brings an integrated approach to his work as a Counsellor and Pastoral Care provider. He is passionate about finding the rich and flourishing stories that showcase the best forms of who a person is and would like to become.  In doing this valuable work his dream and hope for a person is that their hopes and dreams are easily accessible.  At the heart of relationships is a deliberate intent to building trust, collaboration, respect, sensitivity and hope.

Slides from the presentation – download here

VWS2020 SF Conversations