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Finding the root cause Vs co-constructing preferred stories: Integrating systematic problem solving methods with narrative/constructive approaches to consulting

Guy, Glen E., Biggs, Herbert C., & Adie, Ron H. (2005) Finding the root cause Vs co-constructing preferred stories: Integrating systematic problem solving methods with narrative/constructive approaches to consulting. In Australian Counselling and Supervision Conference 2005, February 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.

Abstract

Traditional approaches to consultancy and professional supervision have generally used a systematic, Problem Solving process. Such a process guides clients through a sequential series of steps which can be summarised as defining the problem, determining root causes, generating options, deciding on and implementing one option and evaluating the outcome. This approach is often conceptualised as an objective, logical and cyclical process with particular strategies associated with each step. The approach is therefore reductionist in nature and assumes the reality of a problem cause. Its danger is that personal blame can easily be attached to beliefs about the problem. Its strength is that the process is easily be attached to beliefs about the problem. Its strength is that the process is easily understood by clients and fits with their expectations about consultancy and supervision. More recent writings in organisational consultancy, coaching and team development have intensified this Problem Solving focus with the term, Root Cause Analysis, increasingly used. In contrast, a very different perspective is gaining favour in professional counselling supervision and is starting to exert some influence in consultancy work. This approach has drawn from the constructive counselling theories of Solution-Oriented and Narrative Therapy. In organisational setting the term, Appreciative Inquiry, has been used for a similar approach. The basic principles of this perspective are very different from traditional Problem Solving. The focus is on uncovering strengths and resources; identifying and amplifying change; understanding how problems develop; building alternative, preferred stories of functioning; clarifying associated values and beliefs and linking future action with these beliefs; identifying and using audiences of support. This paper proposes a combining of these two major perspectives rather than a discrediting of one by the other. In order to preserve the theoretical integrity of both, a model is presented in which the process of the Problem Solving approach is combined with the language and principles of constructive theory.

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ID Code: 3852
Item Type: Conference Paper
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:14

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