Enhancing Brief Helping Conversations in Schools: Strength-Based, Solution-Focused Strategies
Discover strength-based, solution-focused approaches to enhance the usefulness of the helping conversations you have with students, colleagues, parents, and community partners.
There is a growing demand for school-based personnel to provide appropriate advising, counselling, and coaching services in very brief formats. Find out how strength-based, solution-focused approaches can enhance the usefulness of the helping conversations you have with students, colleagues, parents, and community partners. Learn techniques for identifying and using people’s existing strengths and resources to help them find solutions to a wide range of challenges.
The Solution-Focused approach represents a shift from a traditional problem-focused and symptom-based paradigm to a strengths-based, solution-focused paradigm. The solution-focused approach is future-oriented and activates strengths, resources, hopes, and positive goals to enhance learning, change, performance, and wellbeing.
Subject Matter Experts
Dr. Ron Warner, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Ronald Warner is a clinical psychologist, Ryerson Professor Emeritus, and the Founder and Director of the Solution-Focused Counselling & Brief Therapy Certificate Program at the University of Toronto, which is now in its 21st year.
He began teaching the first courses in the solution-focused, strength-based approach, which is an alternative to the classical problem-focused and deficit-based model, in continuing education at U of T in 1998. Dr. Warner is the author of Solution-Focused Interviewing: Applying Positive Psychology, A Manual for Practitioners (2013, U of T Press), which is used as a text for learning Solution-Focused practice locally and internationally, as well as the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Warner is also the Chief Examiner for the Canadian Council of Professional Certification for Solution-Focused Therapists, Practitioners, and Coaches. Dr. Warner devotes his clinical practice to using the solution-focused approach to promote post-traumatic growth among first responders, veterans, and their families and started the first post-traumatic growth treatment group at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. For close to a decade his clinical practice has been devoted to the Solution-Focused approach to promoting Post-Traumatic Growth, including four years of service at the Canadian Forces Base Kingston where he started the first Post-Traumatic Growth group treatment approach. He currently works with veterans and their families at the Kingston Institute of Psychotherapy & Neurofeedback.
Joanna Boutilier, Certified Solution Focused Practitioner
Joanna Boutilier, M.A., CSFP, PEC is a solution-focused educator, coach, counsellor, consultant, curriculum developer, writer, and Professor at Humber College. An award-winning educator, Certified Solution Focused Practitioner, and Certified Positive Educator, Joanna is dedicated to helping bring more solution-focused, strength-based practices and conversations into classrooms, staff rooms, schools, workplaces, communities, families, and youth organizations. With over 25 years’ experience, Joanna has designed and facilitated customized training, workshops, courses, curriculum, mentoring, and coaching for individuals, teams, schools, helping professionals, and organizations including helplines, child & family service organizations, women’s centers, and youth organizations. Joanna enjoys promoting solution-focused, strength-based ways of enhancing the helping conversations that we have with ourselves and others, expanding their focus from problems and complaints towards strengths, resources, goals, successes, hopes, and solutions. She has a special focus on mentoring, advising, educating, and coaching youth, girls, and women.