“Stretching the world” – a friendly explanation of SF practice

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Mark McKergow

SF practitioners don’t do explanations, right?  Not quite – we don’t do explanations with our clients, about why the clients are experiencing difficulties and what they should therefore do to resolve them.  However, many practitioners run away from the idea of an explanation for how come our simple conversations might be effective.  Such an explanation would give us a better basis to discuss our work with others and to expand and develop SF practive.  Dr Mark McKergow will outline his hypothesis that SF conversations – developing detailed, interactional descriptions of better futures and supportive pasts – don’t simply offer the client ideas, they actually stretch the world of the client in new and generative ways.  We can never be quite sure about the consquences of world-stretching; this is not a mechanical process but a creative engagement between client and practitioner.  Drawing on developments in enactive cognition, ecological psychology and affordances, Mark will show how we might consider our work, what might be important, and how we can develop SF work in the future.

Mark McKergow is director of the Centre for Solutions Focus at Work, London and a visiting research fellow in the Department of Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire (UK), where he is engaged in expanding the academic roots and connections of SFBT with respect to the latest post-Wittgenstein thinking such as enactive cognition and narrative philosophy. He was director of the University’s HESIAN research hub (http://herts.ac.uk/hesian) which published regular SFBT research updates.

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