Workshop: Kitchen Dramas: extending ideas about single session therapy.


Chris Iveson

Concrete, observable, interactional and do-able were some of de Shazer’s specifications for describing what he originally called ‘goals’ and later given the broader definition of “preferred futures”. At BRIEF we decided to give particular attention to this aspect of the approach and began developing very detailed descriptions of possible futures located in the ordinary routines of everyday life. What evolved was a process of scene-setting – what time, what room, which person (what name) so the client’s description was located in ‘reality’. The ‘therapeutic’ work was then the enactment of the ‘play’ – what happens when 14 year old Tom enters the kitchen at 7.15 am while his mother is making a pot of tea if a miracle had happened the night before.

Current thinking about extended and enactive cognition points to the possibility that the scene-setting is as much part of the play as the the interactions between the players.
Fancy as this sounds it it requires only a very simple interviewing process to implement and this is what you will see and practice during the workshop.

Chris Iveson is a founder member of BRIEF one of the earliest centres for Solution Focused Practice. He has written and co-written four books and numerous articles about therapy, coaching and organisational change. For almost thirty years he and his colleagues have been passionate about extending the scope of solution focused practice while at the same time simplifying its processes. Now, much of what Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg did and taught has been abandoned by BRIEF yet there is nothing in what they do which was not written about and prescribed in de Shazer’s writing. Indeed the paring down of the approach has revealed more clearly a way to Steve de Shazer’s dream to have a therapy based purely on description.

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