Heather Fiske

Heather Fiske photo Heather is an enthusiastic and experienced Solution-Focused practitioner, trainer, and supervisor and possibly the leading international presenter about using Solution-Focused ideas in conversations around suicide.. She is one of the founders of the (North American) Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association and has published numerous articles on Solution-Focused practice and training as well as a book, Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide. She is the recipient of the Insoo Kim Berg memorial award for contributions to Solution-Focused training, and of the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention's national service award. Heather lives on the glorious North Atlantic coast of Canada near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Keynote address: "It would take a miracle": Solution-Focused Conversations with Desperate People

The focus of this presentation is solution-focused work with people who have come to view suicide as the solution to their problems. In such work, the solution-focused philosophy and tools are invaluable in tapping into clients' hope and reasons for living, as well as in helping practitioners to maintain their own hope about clients. Working with people who are desperate can be excellent training in the value of maintaining a solution-focused stance, which includes practitioner mindfulness, going slow, and viewing the client as the expert. Clips from conversations with suicidal clients will be used to demonstrate how solution-focused practitioners listen to, select and build on client statements in constructing solution-focused responses.

Sofie Geisler

Sofie Geisler photo Sofie is an international consultant, governmental adviser and trainer in solution building in critical situations, conflict management and change processes. She has roots in Greenland and Denmark and lives in Mexico City, where she has worked for more than 15 years in the public sector as well as with private companies and social groups.

Among other things, Sofie has worked with public policy programs and reforms, internal change processes, police and security topics, academic programs, training and with design as well as implementation of conflict management systems and legal mediation in Superior Courts of Justice.

Keynote address: Thinking BIG with Solution Focus

Rapid and small changes are characterising large-scale processes addressed in government and private business spheres. Local conflicts are nourished by incidents happening simultaneously thousands of kilometres away. Changes in the environment of a country far away can be what trigger a debate on education in your neighbourhood. A hacked computer can change political directions in seconds as well as diplomatic crisis can develop in real time on Twitter with the whole world watching. Large-scale processes are more complex and challenging than ever. What can Solution Focus offer to the management of these challenges?

Solution Focus is applied on new grounds in the private and public sector´s large scale processes, and this raises questions about what works, how it is different from using Solution Focus in other contexts and what to look out for. Sofie will explore these questions based on her diverse experiences. She not only questions what Solution Focus can do for large scale processes, but also how large-scale processes challenge Solution Focus and its practitioners.

Jason Pascoe

Jason Pascoe photo Jason is a Director of Growth Coaching International, a coach and experienced facilitator — particularly in the education sector. His experience encompasses every state and territory in Australia, Singapore, US and UK. His experience encompasses leadership, project coordination, team development, coaching, and extends to university lecturing, national and international conference presentations.

Keynote address: Making conversations count: Organizational SF applications in schools

Schools, as do other organizations, often look to structure and process to track change and monitor performance.  In Australia schools are tied to both national and state (territory) frameworks that are mandated.  How might SF help?  The first step is looking at schools as complex adaptive systems of relationships — the action happens in the interaction (not because of a process or procedure).  This keynote will look briefly at two approaches that support school leaders to take a more Solution Focused journey into their development of others and organizational strategy.

Dan Hutto

Dan Hutto photo Daniel D. Hutto is Professor of Philosophical Psychology at the University of Wollongong and member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. His most recent books, include Wittgenstein and the end of philosophy (Palgrave, 2006) and Folk psychological narratives (MIT, 2008). He regularly speaks at conferences and expert meetings — not just for other philosophers but also for anthropologists, clinical psychiatrists, educationalists, narratologists, neuroscientists and psychologists.

Keynote address: Philosophical reflections on Solution-Focused Practice: An enactive understanding of its dynamics

How is it possible that merely envisioning future solutions, without dealing with the root causes of problems, could make a positive difference to the shape of our lives? Is there a philosophy of psychology that can shed light on Solution-Focus Practice? This presentation will  explicate enactivism - a revolutionary way of thinking about mind and cognition that has gained ground over the past thirty years - showing how its way of thinking about mind perfectly suits and can illuminate the dynamics of Solution-Focused therapy. Solution-Focused practice uses imaginative means to shift a person's ways of engaging with the world and others into a more desirable range. Enactivism conceives of this process as a matter of the person changing their existing patterns of interaction such that they become open to a new set of possibilities for action. Enactive approaches thus provide the right resources for legitimising driving insight of Solution­Focused practice, putting it on secure theoretical footing: A person need not know the cause of his or her problems in order to respond to them effectively. Enactivism thus provides a  basis for understanding Solution­Focused therapy's approach to changing a person's existing patterns of response, transforming them into new patterns of interaction that are more fruitful and flourishing within the current theoretical landscape. This matters because an enactive take on philosophy of psychology provides a much-needed antidote to the reductive philosophies of mind that encourage the cause-seeking medical model and its vision of the future of therapy ­ a vision that otherwise threatens to marginalise, if not wholly sideline, alternatives such as Solution­Focused therapy.