We have posted previously about solution focused therapy, where we looked at a small case series study with people with mild learning disabilities. Solution-focused therapy focuses on solutions, rather than on the presenting problems, based on the notion that even for people suffering chronic problems, there are periods when the difficulties do not occur or are less intense.
The researchers in this study looked at Solution-focused coaching. Coaching of course is well established as a methodology in the field of sports and is a developing field in business and organisational development. The authors describe the approach as short-term, future-focused, and person-directed.
They describe 13 cases of solution focused therapy with staff acting in the coaching role for people with severe and moderate learning disabilities.
They took measurements before, directly after and 6 weeks after the coaching in the following areas;
- progress toward the team goal
- proactive thinking of staff
- quality of the relationship between staff and people they supported
What they found was
- progress toward the team goal in seven of 13 teams
- improvement of proactive thinking in 5 of 10 teams
- improvement of the quality of relationships in 7 of 13 teams.
With regard to individual staff members, they found improvement of proactive thinking in 12 of 34 staff members and improvement of the quality of relationships in 22 of 42 staff members.
They suggest that using solution focused coaching stimulates dealing with support problems in a behavioral, proactive way. They also suggest that it can be a helpful approach to building useful relationships.
They suggest the need for further research, ideally using a randomised controlled design, to test whether solution focused caching could help with proactive thinking in teams and positively impact on staff perceptions of people with learning disabilities.
Solution-Focused Coaching of Staff of People With Severe and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities: A Case Series, Roeden J et a., in Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 9: 185–194.