Oxford 2021 - Working with Parents of CWS
The Stuttering Foundation's Inaugural Presentation at the 12th Oxford Dysfluency Conference in 2021.
This one-hour presentation begins with a short overview of the principles of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT, de Shazer, 1985; Ratner et al., 2012) and then explores how SFBT may be used in therapy with parents of children who stutter (CWS).
Shared goal setting using SFBT methods helps clinicians to establish what parents want from therapy and fosters a respectful partnership (Berquez et al., 2015; Sonsterud et al., 2019). SFBT also enables parents to focus on the resources and strengths in the family; to notice what’s going well and build optimism and hope (Harley, 2018). It fosters a progressive narrative, recognising that one change in the system will have a ripple effect and lead to wider changes.
Parents of CWS may approach therapy with a sense of worry or guilt about their child’s stuttering, wondering whether they have caused it, hoping that therapy will fix or ‘cure’ it, projecting their worries far into the future (Biggart et al., 2007; Millard & Davis, 2009; Plexico & Burrus, 2012). Solution focused conversation helps parents to ‘broaden their perceptual field’ (Kelly, 1955) away from being fluency focused towards seeing their child more holistically (Rogers et al., in press). It supports a process of desensitisation and acceptance, at the clients pace, (Berquez & Kelman, 2018); keeping “one foot in acknowledgement, the other in possibility” (O’Hanlon & Beadle, 1996)
This presentation describes how therapists can use the principles of SFBT to explore parents’ expectations from therapy, agree shared goals and support a process of change through solution focused conversations. (60 minutes)