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Monday Ideas for School Counselors

Weekly articles for school counselors with ideas on how to resolve typical school situations with students, teachers and parents using the solution focused approach.


The Most Important Solution Focused Questions to Learn

September 12, 20221 min read

The solution focused approach, while adaptable to practically everything that goes on in a school, can take a while to master. Eventually, with consistent attempts to seek exceptions, scale problems down to size, and by taking notes, it will come so naturally that you won’t even know you are doing it!

But sometimes, when educators learn the solution focused approach, the delicious stories from school clients get in the way of solution building. We get lost in problem talk, empathy and don’t know where to go with the school client.

Remember - the school client must lead us!

So, on this Monday, we are going to discuss the most important solution focused questions that you can learn so that you can be solution focused quicker.

The Questions

1. So, tell me, what are your best hopes?

This question should literally be among the first words out of your mouth when the school client sits down in a chair. Maybe even before!

What’s so special about this question?

It gives you direction. That’s it.

It will get the school client to tell you where to go with them. Without it, you will end up following Detour after Detour and then, Dead End Ahead.  

2. What difference will that make for you? 

This question supports the answers to the first question, especially when you get impossible answers from the best hopes question. This question helps you to still stay focused on what the impossible goal means to the school client. That’s huge. 

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Dr Linda Metcalf

Linda Metcalf is the best-selling author of Counseling Toward Solutions and 10 other books. Linda is a former middle school teacher, all-level certified school counselor, licensed professional counselor supervisor, and licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Texas. She is a Professor at Texas Wesleyan University.

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