- Subject index
`I recommend this book to anyone who lives or works with families, children or teenagers' - Nurturing Potential `This is a valuable book, worth attention in every child and family service. My own agency has ordered a copy!' - Robert Cumming, Nurturing Potential `John Sharry's book is a jewel in the solution-focused literature. It is clearly and engagingly written, draws on a host of ideas from different therapeutic approaches and is packed with practical examples. There is no better book on strengths-based therapy with children and adolescents. Every team should have one' - Chris Iveson, Brief Therapy Practice Counselling Children, Adolescents and Families describes an innovative approach to therapeutic work which builds on the strengths of children and their parents. As the author's experience shows, helping clients to focus on potential solutions rather than problems can be a powerful means of engaging them in the therapeutic process, even in the most conflicting family circumstances. Harnessing the client's personal, family and community resources in this way also helps counteract their feelings of powerlessness and the possibility of increasing reliance on professional services. Part One outlines the basic principles of a solution-focused and strengths-based approach, tackling such thorny issues as how and when to use diagnosis. Part two describes creative applications of the approach, using groupwork, play-based activities and video feedback. Part Three, examines practical issues which arise in more 'difficult' cases, such as child abuse and suicidal teenagers and children. This book is aimed at professionals and trainees in fields including social work, mental health, childcare, education, psychotherapy and counselling.
Chapter 6: Constructive Understanding – Formulation and Diagnosis
Constructive Understanding – Formulation and Diagnosis
When you label me you negate me.
Know your enemy well. Only then can you defeat him.
When I first worked as a solution-focused therapist in child mental health, I was very cautious of using expert diagnoses and labels, particularly those characterised by DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and ICD-10 (World Health Organisation, 1992). Though such categories were dominant in the field of psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry, they struck me as pathological, limiting and unhelpful in working therapeutically. I preferred to work with the family and child who came to see me and collaborate with them in trying to reach a solution to whatever problem they arrived with, without having to use a psychiatric label ...