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Respond to two colleagues:

Identify a barrier that might make it difficult to implement the solution-focused model with the client described.
Discuss how a social worker could help a client re-focus on the present, rather than on their past.

Colleague 1
Discussion – Week 9
This quarter being my first field placement but due to COVID-19 all onsite field experience was suspended in March and not being able to utilize a case study. I chose to use the case of Tiffani Bradley to complete this week’s discussion.

The presenting problem

In this case Tiffani, a 16-year-old Caucasian female, has a history of running away due to past experiences of emotional, physical, mental and sexual trauma. Court mandated to reside at a group home but now upon discharge Tiffani is showing some ambivalence on her next place of residence. 

From the list of solution-focused questions on page 520 (e.g., exception questions, coping questions, scaling questions, and relationship questions), identify two different types of questions, and ask each question as if you were actually asking the questions to the client. (Remember, do not use the miracle question.). Remember that the goal of these questions is to assist clients in identifying a solution.

Coping questions attempt to help the client shift his/her focus away from the presenting issues and towards what the client is doing to survive the painful or stressful circumstances (The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, n.d.).

A coping question for Tiffani would be: You reported being unsure of whether you want to return home with your family or Donald. What have you found that is helpful in managing this situation?

Scaling questions invite the clients to put their observations, impressions, and predictions:

On a scale from 0 to 10 (0 being no chance, and 10 being every chance). Questions need to be specific, citing specific times and circumstances (The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, n.d.).

A scaling question for Tiffani would be: On a scale of 0 to 10, what are the chances that you’ll be able to say “No” to Donald when he asks you to come back home with him?

Explain how asking these two questions would help the client in coming up with the solution.

These questions would enable Tiffani to transition from ambivalence to a more solution-focused perspective because it will force her to identify and address her feelings and experiences. The application of this theory would also hold the client accountable for the outcomes of their goals.

In 1 to 2 sentences, reflect and explain how asking these questions made you feel and perhaps how the client might feel.

These questions enabled me to reflect on personal experiences and to view them from the perspective of the client. To also measure her motivation and readiness to change towards resolving her current issues.


The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center. (n.d.). Solution-Focused Interviewing Skills & Questions. Retrieved online from

Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Chapter 35: Solution-Focused Theory (pp. 513531).

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Colleague  2
The Client:

When working with families and trying to keep families together we have to utilize solution-focus theory throughout our cases and practices. Solution focused theory puts the client in control of the outcome and we are there to assist with their journey (Turner, 2017). The case I will focus on is my work with a family; well call them the Huebers. The Huebers have come to my agency seeking assistance with their CPS case. They were referred to the WRAP program and we will be working with the client and family to improve communication, establish good discipline practices and family therapy.

The Questions:

I utilize exception questions consistently in my current job as well as in my undergrad field experience. An exception question asks about what life was like before the problem or with the absence of a current stressor (Turner, 2017). I think this is an important question because we can focus on what was going right and try to apply it to the current situation. I would ask the Huebers: tell me about a time when you all had good communication?

I also utilize coping questions. They are similar to exception questions; however, a coping question asks how one successfully coped with an issue during a situation that might typically become escalated (Turner, 2017). In the Huebers case I would ask the parents: tell me about a time that the two of you argued and it didnt escalate into a physical altercation what did you two do differently? Was the communication better? Did you give each other space, etc?

How are the questions going to identify a solution?

The purpose of these questions are to identify what has work and what is working as well as strategies that can be built upon to find a solution. These questions wont solve the concerns. The clients must actively work at utilizing what they say works and building upon already identified coping skills as well as developing new ones. This may take time. Clients may not know what their coping skills are or why an altercation didnt escalate which is why you should ask follow up questions.

How would these questions make me/the client feel?

I think these questions are meant to make you stop and analyze your own situation. I think if I couldnt think of any positives that it would make me feel discouraged. However, Ive had many clients who cannot think of a time when things were better or a time where a situation didnt escalate. That can seem discouraging. Ive always used follow up questions to guide clients to positive, no matter how small. In the Huebers case, they had many positives and were able to identify them and coping skills that worked pretty quickly without much follow up, so I would imagine they felt hopeful.


Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Chapter 35: Solution-Focused Theory (pp. 513531).


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