Space: Shared values with our ‘cousins’: The Galveston Declaration

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Mark McKergow

Solution-Focused (SF) practice was developed from earlier models of brief therapy, itself a derivative of the wider family therapy movement started by Gregory Bateson and the MRI team in the 1950s/60s.  As SF work has become more specialised, it may be getting harder to see the connections with our ‘cousins’ – field which stemmed from the same original sources. These include narrative and collaborative therapies as well as the broader family therapy cluster, which is still taught and studied around the world, and particularly in the USA.
At a cross-disciplinary meeting in Galveston, Texas in 2016, a group of practitioners and academics from across these traditions produced the ‘Galveston Declaration’ – a statement of values which we believe to be shared across these approaches.  The authors hope that this will play a part in helping to maintain and build connections between our fields, and also encourage organisations and practitioners to see even more clearly some of the fundamentals in our field.  The declaration will be published both in print and online, with an invitation to anyone to sign on and stand with the declaration in their work.  In this workshop, Mark McKergow (one of the original authors of the declaration) will share the details, lead a discussion about why this is a good idea and what the benefits might be, and help you find out about what’s happened since the declaration was drafted.

Dr Mark McKergow has pioneered the use of SF approaches in organisational work, as well as becoming a leading voice on the development of the philosophy, theory and background to SF work. He is a visiting research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire (in the philosophy of psychology and therapy) as well as Director of the Centre for SF at Work. He is the co-author of four books and many articles, and is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal InterAction. He trained at MRI in the 1990s and has developed relations and connections with others in many fields over the years.

for SF practitioners, for SF pros and superheros, Al