In this chapter we turn our attention from preferred futures to the other pillar of the solution-focused approach — its focus on progress that is being made towards these futures, and on times when any parts of them are already happening or have happened. At the heart of the original shift from a problem-solving approach to a solution-focused practice was the increasing attention given to what people were doing that was working for them in some way, and to the notion of exceptions in particular. Helping people had traditionally been based on finding out what their problems were and then acting to resolve them, usually by first working out what was causing the problems. Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues turned this approach on its head by taking the simple yet revolutionary step of finding exceptions to the problems instead and helping them to happen more often.
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