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Solution-Focused Model: Asking Questions

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Discussion: Solution-Focused Model: Asking Questions

Social workers who utilize the solution-focused model are mindful of how their conversations with their clients, families, groups, or even community members facilitate their thinking about solutions. The client is always the “expert,” and therefore social workers ask questions to explore how the client perceives the problem and situation.

 

Social workers may use solution-focused questions such as the miracle question. For example, “Suppose you woke up one morning and by some miracle everything you ever wanted, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened—your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it. What would be different in your life?” When clients are asked this, it forces them to reflect on what they want or would like to achieve. By projecting themselves into the future, clients are more likely to imagine what is possible rather than focusing on the past and their failures. This allows for the possibility of developing solutions.

 

In this Discussion, you apply the solution-focused model and solution-focused questions. You provide other solution-focused questions, similar to the miracle question that was provided for you.

 

Although the textbook provides actual examples of solution-focused questions, always think about your client—you may have to modify the question a bit to take into account the client’s age, cognitive and developmental stage, culture, etc., so that the question makes sense to the client.

 

To Prepare

Recall a case from your fieldwork experience to use for this Discussion.

If you don’t have field experience that applies to this Discussion, you can apply other social work experience, including internships or professional experience, or apply a case study from this course. Contact your Instructor if you need clarification for what could apply for the Discussion.

Review and focus on pages 520–521 in your textbook.

This Discussion is meant to function as a roleplay. Be sure to review the solution-focused questions resources and reflect on how to ask a multilayered question.

By Day 3

Post a response to the following:

 

In 1–2 sentences, briefly identify and describe the problem as perceived by the client, family, or group that you dealt with in your past fieldwork or professional experience.

From the list of solution-focused questions on page 520 (e.g., exception questions, coping questions, scaling questions, and relationship questions), identify two different types of questions. Ask each question as if you were actually asking the questions to the client. (Remember: Do not use the miracle question.)

Remember that the goal of these questions is to assist clients in identifying a solution.

Remember to treat this prompt as a roleplay—imagine you are with the client(s) in the case study.

Explain how asking these two questions would help the client in coming up with the solution.

By Day 5

Respond to two colleagues:

 

Identify a barrier that might make it difficult to implement the solution-focused model with the client described.

Discuss how a social worker could help a client re-focus on the present, rather than on their past.

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