As Edward Said suggests, beginnings are crucial, and a good beginning will set the tone for all that follows. If the essential characteristic of any piece of solution-focused work, whether it consists of a five-minute conversation or five one-hour therapy sessions, is that it is aimed in a particular direction, that is, towards the client’s hoped-for outcome from the work, then a lot depends on how we set about establishing this direction at the outset. The solution-focused practitioner is helped immeasurably in beginning the work by keeping in mind what 1 see as the fundamental solution-focused assumption: if someone is talking to you, they must want something to come from that. A second useful idea is to see the process of asking someone what they want as one of contracting.
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