I am a Registered Nurse (Mental Health) and Solution Focused Practitioner, working as a Wellbeing Advisor at the University of Surrey, UK.
I completed my nurse training in 1996, then worked in various NHS and private hospital settings in several cities until 2009 when I seized the opportunity to apply my skills and experience to help people negotiate the trials and tribulations of Higher Education. On-site dedicated mental health and wellbeing services at universities represent a relatively new and growing sector in the UK, and I find my membership of the University Mental Health Advisors Network (UMHAN) helpful for maintaining perspective on the task in hand and adapting to ever changing demands.
My introduction to Solution Focused Practice in 2017 was through BRIEF, the world’s leading centre for the approach. They awarded me a Certificate in Solution Focused Practice a year later following 8 days training and submission of a written paper.
My enthusiasm for and ongoing journey towards mastery of the approach has been fuelled by my membership of the Solution Focused University (SFU), a ground breaking online learning community set up and run by my friend and mentor, Elliott Connie.
Solution Focused Practice is a wonderfully liberating and rewarding way of working to help people unlock their potential and create the future they hope for. It is also very difficult, largely because it involves a style of thinking and talking which is quite different to that which is more commonly encountered in everyday life in the modern world. The most effective ways I’ve found to stay Solution Focused and on track to achieve what I hope to have been to immerse myself by reading, watching videos, attending training and conferences and staying in close contact with other professionals working in the same way, and also writing about it as a way to organise my thoughts. A pleasantly surprising by-product of this writing has been receiving encouraging feedback from readers, who’ve even gone so far as to say they’ve been inspired by it. I hope to therefore continue to grow whilst inspiring others with this blog.
Chris Ward, May 2018