During the 1980s, a dramatic reorientation of practice, particularly interpersonal work, began to emerge in social work and cognate disciplines such as counselling and family therapy. Proponents of these new approaches reject the problem focus, which, they contend, underpins social work and other human service professions (Berg and Kelly, 2000; Saleebey, 2012), and are oriented instead to finding solutions that draw on clients’ strengths, and their hopes and dreams for the future. These future-oriented approaches include the strengths perspective, solution-focused brief therapy and narrative approaches. This chapter focuses on strengths and solution-focused brief therapy. Narrative approaches will be discussed in Chapter 9 because of the clear linkages between narrative practice and postmodern concepts.
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