SOCW6060: Discussion: Solution-Focused Model: Asking Questions (WK9)

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Solution-Focused and Task-Centered Models

Solution-focused and task-centered models fall into the When knowledge comes from tradition, it is based on “what was done before.”

” data-hasqtip=”3″>tradition of therapies that are structured, focused, and brief. Both models lend themselves to working with individuals, families, groups, and communities. In addition, both models lend themselves well to utilizing other When knowledge comes from theory, it is based on statements that have been tested using science.

” data-hasqtip=”4″>theories for implementing solutions or tasks.

As the name implies, the solution-focused model emphasizes that solutions can be found within the clients themselves. In other words, the client has the answers, and the role of the social worker is to help them find the answers or solution to the problem. Because of the emphasis on finding solutions, the focus is on the present rather than the past. The question becomes, What is the current problem, and what solutions can be implemented to resolve the problem? This is very different from When knowledge comes from theory, it is based on statements that have been tested using science.

” data-hasqtip=”5″>theories such as psychoanalytical When knowledge comes from theory, it is based on statements that have been tested using science.

” data-hasqtip=”6″>theory where the social worker focuses on the past. For instance, When knowledge comes from theory, it is based on statements that have been tested using science.

” data-hasqtip=”7″>theories that focus on the past emphasize the social worker helping the client figure out what in the past triggered the current problem.

Similarly, as the name connotes, the task-centered model emphasizes assisting clients to clarify what the problem is and to identify and break down the tasks that need to be implemented to resolve the problem (Reid, 1997). For each stage of the helping process, there are tasks to be identified and covered.

This week, you apply these two additional models—solution-focused and task-centered—to practice.

Social workers who utilize the solution-focused model are mindful of how their conversations with their clients, families, groups, or even community members facilitate their thinking about solutions. The client is always the “expert,” and therefore social workers ask questions to explore how the client perceives the problem and situation.

Social workers may use solution-focused questions such as the miracle question. For example, “Suppose you woke up one morning and by some miracle everything you ever wanted, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened—your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it. What would be different in your life?” When clients are asked this, it forces them to reflect on what they want or would like to achieve. By projecting themselves into the future, clients are more likely to imagine what is possible rather than focusing on the past and their failures. This allows for the possibility of developing solutions.

In this Discussion, you apply the solution-focused model and solution-focused questions. You provide other solution-focused questions, similar to the miracle question that was provided for you.

Although the textbook provides actual examples of solution-focused questions, always think about your client—you may have to modify the question a bit to take into account the client’s age, cognitive and developmental stage, culture, etc., so that the question makes sense to the client.

To prepare:

  • Recall a case from your fieldwork experience to use for this Discussion.
  • Review and focus on pages 520–521 in your textbook.


  • In 1 to 2 sentences, briefly identify and describe the problem as perceived by the client, family, or group that you dealt with in your past fieldwork experience.
  • 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
  • Explain how asking these two questions would help the client in coming up with the solution.
  • In 1 to 2 sentences, reflect and explain how asking these questions made you feel and perhaps how the client might feel.


Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

I will forward info for resource listed when I get to materials

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