Dear colleague,

This newsletter is to give you news of training and other activities from the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and from the broader Solution-Focused community. The Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney continues to be Australia's leading provider of training in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

The Newsletter is published three or four times each year — with news from the last few months and details of upcoming events.

Thank you for your interest in our activities.

Michael Durrant

2016 training calendar

The Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney training calendar for 2016 is under way.

training photoThe two-day "Introductory" Solution-Focused Brief Therapy course will be offered this year in Parramatta (western Sydney) on three occasions — March, June and October — this will be the ONLY public Solution-Focused training Michael will be conducting in the Sydney region this year.

This course will also be offered in Melbourne and Adelaide in May and in Orange (Central-West NSW) — dates to be confirmed.

The two-day "Advanced" Solution-Focused course and the two-day course on Solution-Focused supervision, leadership and coaching will both be offered in Parramatta — dates to be confirmed.

A NEW two-day course on working with trauma will be offered in conjunction with our colleagues from Compass Seminars. Details below.

Training fees this year.

The full cost of our two-day training courses remains unchanged this year. "Earlybird" fees offer a 10% discount on the full fee. A number of our venues require final numbers more than a week in advance. Last year, a number of people registered for some of our courses within the last week — and were not able to accommodate those people. We hope that the Earlybird rate will encourage people to register early!

Registration for all courses is available on the web site HERE.

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Solution-Focused training in Parramatta in March

There are still some places available in the two-day "Introductory" Solution-Focused Brief Therapy course — Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Comprehensive Introduction, with Michael Durrant, in Parramatta 17 & 18 March.

This training is the most comprehensive introductory Solution-Focused training available in Australia, conducted by Michael Durrant, who had a personal and professional relationship with the founders of the Solution-Focused approach and is a sought-after speaker and trainer internationally.

Register HERE.

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Solution-Focused training in Melbourne in May

The two-day "Introductory" Solution-Focused Brief Therapy course — Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Comprehensive Introduction, with Michael Durrant, will be presented in Melbourne 16 & 17 May 2016.

The training will be held at Bell City in Preston.

Register HERE.

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Solution-Focused training in Adelaide in May

We are thrilled to be able to announce that two-day "Introductory" Solution-Focused Brief Therapy course — Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Comprehensive Introduction, with Michael Durrant, will now be offered in Adelaide on Monday & Tuesday, 23 & 24 May 2016.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an evidence-based approach that has been shown to be effective in mental health, trauma, schools and child & adolescent contexts ... and has also been used usefully in leadership annd coaching contexts.

Michael is Australia's leading trainer/presenter in Solution-Focused work. As well as having had a personal/professional relationship with the founders of the Solution-Focused approach, he has been asked to give keynote addresses at the European Brief Therapy Conference, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Conference and a Singapore Solution-Focused Practice Conference — as well as at school principal and deputy principal conferences in Australia and New Zealand.

This training has been highly rated in Sydney and Melbourne and we are happy to be able to share it with our South Australian colleagues.

The training has been made possible by the work of our colleague, David Hains, and will be held at Arkaba Hotel in Fullarton, just south of the CBD.

Numbers are strictly limited, so please encourage any of your South Australian colleagues to register soon.

Register HERE.

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Strengths and Solutions in Schools

Michael Durrant continues to provide training to school personnel in "Positive Schools" approaches to student welfare and discipline, drawing on the principles of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, the broader strengths and resilience approaches and the extensive literature about applying Positive Psychology in school contexts.

BTIS strengths-in-schools logoIn the last couple of years, Michael has conducted two lots of two-day training ro the South Australian Department of Education and Early Childhood, been a keynote speaker at a staff development day for NSW's largest secondary college (300+ staff), been an invited keynote speaker and workshop presenter at a school teachers' and counsellors' conference in Kuala Lumpur, conducted training to specialists within the New Zealand Ministry of Education and is speaking this week at the staff development day at a Sydney high school. All of this builds on Michael's ongoing Associate appointment in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney.

Details of the Brief Solutions "Strengths-in-schools" project are available HERE.

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Brief Therapy Institute's collaboration with Compass Seminars

Compass logoThe Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney greatly appreciates our ongoing collaboration with Compass Seminars. Compass Seminars is an organisation that organises a wide range of professional training — aimed particularly at professionals working in the broad child, adolescent and family sector — across Australia and New Zealand.

Over the last ten years, Michael Durrant has presented Solution-Focused Brief Therapy training and training in Strengths and Solution-Focused Supervision in collaboration with Compass in 11 different New Zealand cities and in eight Australian cities outside Sydney.

In 2016, Michael will be presenting Solution-Focused Brief Therapy training with Compass Seminars in Gold Coast, Palmerston North, Auckland, Townsville and Newcastle (with more to come).

Michael will also be presenting his two-day training on Strengths and Solution-Focused Supervision in Christchurch and Rotorua (Australian venues to come).

We are also presenting a NEW training course on working with trauma (see below).

For details on Australian training with Compass go to

For details on New Zealand training with Compass go to

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Michael Durrant a sought-after trainer in mental health contexts

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in Mental Health contexts continues to be one of our most-requested topics for in-house, agency-based training.

With more and more mental health services in Australia seeking to adopt a "recovery model" (in contrast to a "treatment model") — and with New Zealand government mental health policy embracing a recovery approach — mental health staff and management are seeking clinical intervention approaches that are consistent with this approach. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy ticks the boxes in two major areas — 1) it is a collaborative approach that works with clients to harness and build on natural strengths and successes, rather than focusing on "fixing" pathology; and 2) it is a proven, evidence-based approach with a solid research foundation.

In the last two years, Michael has presented Solution-Focused training to a specialised suicide-prevention service in Canberra, a traumatic brain-injury service on the NSW north coast, mental health and drug & alcohol services in Wanganui, New Zealand, mental health services on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Child & Adolescent Mental Health in Canberra; and others — following ongoing training and consulting in Solution-Focused work in mental health in previous years with government health districts in Auckland, Tauranga and Nelson (New Zealand).

Details of this training are available HERE.

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Frances Huber offering Solution-Focused Brief Therapy training

Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney Senior Associate, Frances Huber, has been engaged by the Centre for Community Welfare Training to conduct two-day training in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.BTIS strengths-in-schools logo

This is a significant recognition of Frances as a trainer and presenter, since CCWT is probably THE premier provider of training to the non-government, child and family sector. Frances conducted the training three times in 2015, with (it would be fair to say) rave reviews from participants.

Frances continues her substantive position, as a counsellor in adult mental health within a Communityy Mental Health Service, but will be providing this training for ACWA/CCWT in Sydney and in Canberra and Wagga.

For the CCWT home page, go HERE

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Post-traumatic success: Solution-Focused Approaches to Trauma, Loss and Grief

Michael Durrant will be conducting the two-day course Post Traumatic Success: Solution-Focused Approaches to Trauma, Loss and Grief in Brisbane in late February and in Sydney in early April. This training is being organised in conjunction with our colleagues at Compass Seminars.

The complexities of trauma can be approached from a different angle from the usual perspective: What do people do to survive? What makes them strong? From this view, resilience and post-traumatic growth become the primary focus. Results of several studies suggest that trauma need not be debilitating and that most people are resilient and even grow in the wake of trauma, loss and grief. Understanding and highlighting the sources of this resilience and post-traumatic growth along with focusing on hope and optimism help professionals foster these strengths in their clients, as opposed to focusing on what is wrong with them, which can have a discouraging effect. From a Solution-Focused (SF) perspective, the focus in treatment shifts from post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic success.

Michael has extensive experience in using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in relation to sexual trauma (and has been engaged as a consultant to two NSW Health adult sexual assault services) ... and has published in this area. In 2013-14, Michael was engaged to supervise counsellors in a bushfire-recovery counselling and support service ... and in 2015, Michael was again engaged to work with NSW government emergency personnel following a flood disaster.

Details on the Compass web site — BrisbaneParramatta.

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The Journal of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Journal coverThe first volume of The Journal of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy was published last year. This is the first peer-reviewed, academic-standard journal devoted to Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

The Journal of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is published by the Australasian Association for Solution Focused Brief Therapy Inc (AASFBT) as a service to the international Solution-Focused community. A distinguished Editorial Board has been assembled and Michael Durrant is the founding Editor.

The first issue includes a paper about Solution-Focused groups in prison, a paper about Wittgenstein and SFBT, a paper about the importance of "the break" in Solution-Focused therapy — and how clients experience this, a paper about SFBT in a different cultural context, a paper about using the miracle question in group supervision, a review of the state of research in SFBT, an interview with one of the original Milwaukee BFTC team, reviews, and more.

The second issue (December 2014), includes a significant research paper on Co-constructing Meaning in Dialogue — in which actual dialogues from Solution-Focused therapy sessions is used to explore how meaning is co-constructed by client and therapist in the therapy conversation, a paper about how "culture" might be considered within SFBT, a paper about "Solution-Focused Wellness Coaching ... and more.

Because this is a NEW journal, actual publication dates have lagged somewhat. So, Volume 1 (2014) was actually published in June and October 2015. The two issues of Volume 2 (2015) will be published in the first half of 2016.

Subscription and membership details available on the web site — or

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