SF Coaching and SF Brief Therapy – a heffalump in the room worth exploring


Svea van der Hoorn and Kirsten Dierolf

“SF sounds, looks and is done the same whether it is coaching or therapy” is a statement being heard in solution focused circles. Is this really the case? Svea and Kirsten have set a trap for this heffalump* of a question and will publically examine it in this talk, and explore with you during a Space.
We hope that engaging with this creature of the imagination may help us illuminate:
What is same same and what is different about SF Coaching and SF Brief Therapy?
Some lenses through which we might explore include:
• In which specific time, space, and socio-political economic contexts did SFBT come into being?
• How can we build on this interactive approach that values the importance of context as we are extending it to other fields?
• How can we recognize that what is done in these other fields, is still what SFBT was all about? Is it something else we are creating?
• What are the clues / signs we use in our various fields to recognize what we do as being SF and/or SFBT
Once the heffalump* has responded to these questions, it is quite possible that the presenters, Kirsten and Svea, will be thoroughly ensnared by the same trap they set for the heffalump. Notwithstanding that possibility, they hope we will all leave with a rich collection of hopefully useful misunderstandings.
If you have an appetite for pursuing big, bold, audacious questions and ideas, please join us.
Not familiar with heffalumps? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heffalump
Prefer a video clip? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLnADKgurvc

Bio Kirsten Dierolf
Kirsten Dierolf met Insoo Kim Berg and Steve deShazer as their translator from 2001 until they passed away and has been hooked on Solution Focus ever since the first meeting. She was president of the SFCT (association for the quality development of solution focused consulting and training) between 2008-2016 and co-editor of the journal InterAction – journal of solution focus in organisations. She was awarded Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation in 2016 and is author of “Solution Focused Team Coaching”. Kirsten coaches executives and teams, and trains and mentors coaches.

Bio Svea van der Hoorn
Svea van der Hoorn met SFBT in 1989 by accident – she happened across Steve de Shazer’s “Minimal Elegance”. In 1991, another accident: a training day with Evan George, BRIEF. 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. She is experimenting with online adult education that remains true to resource activation and activity-based learning.

Kirsten and Svea share a deep curiosity about philosophy, language, and the intricacies of SF.