Talk: Restoring Dignity via Coping Talk – the neglected cousin of Change Talk


Svea van der Hoorn

When I crossed from the world of SFBT into the world of SF brief coaching, I noticed a love affair with creating movement. And, some clients who experienced all that focus on movement and improvement as solution-forcing.

Re-visiting Bill O’Hanlon’s Change Talk (Change 101) I heard myself playing with the idea that perhaps we needed to add Coping Talk to what we offered clients faced with hardship and adversity.

Drawing on years of working with clients living in chaos and uncertainty during the political transition in South Africa, I remembered how powerful our conversations about coping had been in restoring dignity.

In this talk, I’ll share more about how worthwhile it can be to place Coping Talk centre stage rather than leave it languishing like Cinderella in the wings of people’s lives.

I’ve been experimenting with Coping Talk in coaching contexts – when talking with CEOs facing turbulance, CFOs facing pressure to slash people and budgets, and clients who feel they have little reason to hope that they can do more than survive their daily working lives.

Svea van der Hoorn met SFBT in 1989 by accident – she happened across Steve de Shazer’s “Minimal Elegance”. Since then, her journey with SFBT has never stopped. In 2007, she crossed the border into SF Brief Coaching via the SolutionSurfers trainer’s track. Svea holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology and the ICF’s PCC credential. She travels amongst the worlds of therapy, coaching, training, supervision and mentor coaching, intrigued by what’s the same and what’s different. The thread that connects her work is a deep curiosity and respect for the creativity that people bring to their everyday lives when faced with turbulence, pressure, and hardship. Svea regards herself as a pragmatic optimist, and is not at home in the world of being positive.
Based in South Africa, Svea has worked in multi-lingual and multi-cultural contexts. She delights in opportunities to see the world through the eyes of diversity and shared humanity.
She is experimenting with online adult education that remains true to resource activation and activity-based learning.

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