Sydney Uni logo Sydney University appointment

Michael Durrant continues his appointment as an Honorary Academic Associate in the Faculty of Education, University of Sydney.

NZ Assistant & Deputy Principals' Conference

Michael Durrant was a keynote speaker at the New Zealand Assistant & Deputy Principals' Conference, speaking on Strengths and Resilience in Schools.

College development day

Northern Beaches Secondary College logoMichael Durrant was a keynote speaker at a College development day at Northern Beaches Secondary College in Sydney. More information about the day, titled "Building positive schools", are HERE.

Training teachers in The Netherlands Fontys Uni logo

For the last few years, Michael Durrant has been an international faculty member in the Masters of Special Education at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands — a postgraduate program that trains various school personnel in Solution-Focused ideas.

New Zealand conference

Michael Durrant was the opening keynote speaker at a conference of specialist RTLBs (Resource Teachers – Learning and Behaviour) in New Zealand.

Positive schools

... exploring applications of "the strengths perspective", Positive Psychology, a focus on resilience and ideas from Solution-Focused Brief Therapy to schools ... NEW ideas (or maybe ideas you are already using!) and PRACTICAL tools.

The revolution that has been sweeping psychology, counselling and welfare work has also hit education!

Much of the work of psychologists, counsellors and welfare workers is about helping people CHANGE — change the way they feel, or the way they behave, or the way they relate. Traditionally, this work has started from trying to figure out "what is wrong?" (and, sometimes, "WHY is it wrong?" ... and, sometimes, WHO is wrong?" ... and, sometimes, classifying, diagnosing or labelling it. Then, treatment or problem-solving or cure seeks to fix it.

In schools, teachers, Year-advisers, co-ordinators, Head Teachers, Deputies, Principals ... spend a great deal of their time having conversations aimed at getting students to CHANGE — change the way they feel, or the way they behave, or the way they learn. Kindergarten teachers have known for years that sometimes you just sternly say to little Johnnie, "Stop running around. Sit down and be quiet" ... however, sometimes you say to little Johnnie, "Gosh, haven't you got a lot of energy today? You can be my special messenger to go up to the office!". That is, sometimes you have conversations that open possibilities.

The revolution in psychology, counselling and welfare has been a move away from "problem-solving" and from "trying to get to the bottom of what's going on" towards a focus on peoples' strengths, on "what's working" and on building possibilities. Positive Psychology and "the strengths perspective" have offered a radically different way to think about working with people. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an EVIDENCE-BASED approach that offers practical tools for conversations that uncover or encourage change.

The Brief Solutions "STRENGTHS IN SCHOOLS" project is about taking these ideas OUT of the psychology context and INTO the classroom and the playground.

Who's who in the Strengths in Schools project

Strengths-in-Schools is a project of Brief Solutions, involving people from the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and other colleagues interested in furthering Strengths- and Solution-Focused ideas in schools.

Psychologist Michael Durrant, Director of the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and a world-respected professional author and trainer, leads the project.

More details about people HERE.

Consultation to schools

Michael Durrant has provided ongoing consultation and support to a variety of schools wanting to introduce a positive, strengths and Solution-Focused approach across their school program.

Riverside Girls High School, in Sydney, was interested in equipping teachers simply to have more useful and forward-looking conversations with students and pursued this over a couple of years.

Doonside Technology High School, in a highly disadvantaged area of Sydney's western suburbs, embarked on a multi-year project which resulted in their adopting a formal school-wide Solution-Focused welfare and discipline policy.

More details about these projects (and our consultation to them) HERE.

Solution-Focused Therapy (counselling) training

Michael Durrant has been involved with training educational psychologists, school counsellors and guidance officers specifically in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. He recently conducted a two-day training course with thirty Guidance Officers from Education Queensland in Cairns.

More details HERE.

Strengths & Solutions in schools inservice training

Michael Durrant is increasingly being engaged to conduct inservice training in a positive, strengths and Solution-Focused approach in schools for staff groups from individual or groups of schools.

The schools for which Michael has conducted the training include:

  • Glen Eden Intermediate School, Auckland, NZ
  • Moorefields Girls High School, Sydney
  • Inaburra Christian High School, Bangor, NSW
  • Rosebank College, Five Dock, NSW
  • St John Bosco Primary School, New Plymouth, NZ
  • Daramalan College, Canberra
  • James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange, NSW

More details about the content and organisation of the training HERE.

Positive Schools training through Compass Seminars

Compass Seminars — a private training firm catering particularly to the child and youth sector — arranges one-day "Positive Schools" training courses at various places in Australia and New Zealand. This training, delivered by Michael Durrant, is the same as the inservice training (above); however, it is "public" training — aimed at groups of various school and education professionals from a variety of places, rather than tailored for one specific school.

The Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney also offers this training in Sydney from time to time.

No dates are currently planned for 2016.