Speakers & Programme


Here is the conference timetable FYI: Conference Timetable 2023 (as at 12 OCT 22)

Please note that as at 16 January 2023, for reasons outlined on the home page, this conference has unfortunately been cancelled.

Rebekka Ouer - Keynote

Rebekka Ouer is a clinical social worker who specialises in solution focused work with the LGBT community. She has served as an adjunct professor at UTA’s School of Social Work and she is also a clinical supervisor for LMSW’s in Texas. She frequently conducts trainings about Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and the LGBT community and has authored a book from Routledge Publications: Solution Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT community: Creating Futures through Hope and Resilience.

 LGBT Individuals
 LGBT Couples & Relationships
 Trans Teens & Families
 Transgender Letter Assessments

Title: SFBT and the LGBT Community.

SFBT is the absolute perfect fit for working with marginalised clients, and in this presentation the conference participants will learn this truth through the lens of working with the LGBT community. They will receive this lesson directly from a therapist and author who has been passionately utilising SFBT while working with LGBT clients in the American south for the last decade.

Elliott Connie - Special Guest - Closing Speech

Elliott Connie, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist that practices in Keller, Texas. He has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and families applying the solution focused approach to help them move their lives from the current problems towards their desired futures. He is the founder and Director of The Solution Focused University, an online learning community that also conducts training to help professionals master the Solution Focused Approach in their work. He is recognised around the world speaking at national and international conferences and events in such places as throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, England, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Holland, Canada, and Asia training practitioners to apply solution focused questions and techniques in their work. He has authored or co-authored four books including "The Art of Solution Focused Therapy", "Solution Building in Couples Therapy", "The Solution Focused Marriage", and "Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with Clients Managing Trauma".

Title: SF and Diversity

Paul Hanton

I first trained in SFBT at BRIEF (known then as The Brief Therapy Centre) in London, circa 1993, studied for an achieved an MA on the worlds first SFBT Master course, 2000, Birmingham University, I have written and trained a fair bit, was a founder member of the UKASFP and of this conference....I love my family, including my spoilt dog, love curry, Spurs, play and coach badminton. www.solutionfocused.co.nz

Title: Being respectful using SF with Maori tāngata, from a Tauiwi perspective.

I will also run a workshop based on the SF Reflecting team approach (Tom Anderson Sweden, Harry Norman UK). Please bring a case that you want some live supervision on...this style of peer supervision will change your practice, forever! Big claim huh?

Rob Silver & Wendy Isakson

Hi I’m Wendy. Married to Gordon, with 3 children, and many interesting life experiences, I’ve been working as a Counsellor in the Hawke’s Bay for more than ten years. Most recently, I have been working at Tamatea High School and seeing private clients. I feel challenged on a regular basis in my counselling work with teens and adults. My grandson Max (who was born during the 2020 edition of this conference) and my dogs keep me sane!

Hi. I’m Rob. I’m proudly married to Eth, and we have two married kids, two kids-in-law, two grandsons and a crazy Labrador. I have been working as a school counsellor since 2008. My introduction to SFBT was through Brent Gardiner in 2010 and 2011. I continue to learn and grow in using SFP as my main modality. Family life and volunteer prison chaplaincy challenge my edges regularly!

Title: Where to from here?

This is an interactive workshop. Participants will discuss vignettes of counselling sessions through a Solution Focused lens. We will use SF principles to come up with ways a counsellor using this modality might proceed in similar situations.

Cate Walton

Hi, I’m Cate Walton. I am married to Chris and the mum of four awesome kids. I initially trained as a Counsellor, concurrent to doing my Registered Nursing training way back in the early ‘80’s, and I have recently completed a Master of Counselling at Canterbury University.

I have worked for many years in a variety of community and practice settings and currently work as a counsellor part time at Petersgate Counselling Centre. I also have a small private counselling practice.

I am a Solution-focused counsellor and continue to learn and train in this approach in order to keep up to date with the latest developments in this field. I am a member of the SFU, and passionate about the benefits of Solution Focused practice for my clients.

Title: SF and People with Disabilities

Eva Corson

Kia ora! I was born and bred in Mϋnster, Germany, and trained in multi-systemic family counselling before coming to NZ. I have been living in Aotearoa for 20 years, mainly in Rotorua, and have been practising as a family counsellor and social worker for that long. I work for Family Works Northern, an NGO. Over the past years my chosen modality has completely moved to SFBT, which I now use with all my clients: children, teens, adults, families, groups. I particularly love using this approach with young people, getting creative while not losing sight of the clients’ best hopes and the disciplined and focused way of SFBT.

I have a Kiwi husband and two bi-cultural/bi-lingual teenage children. When there is any time left in the day, I love to spend it doing pottery or running with my dog.

Title: Engaging and creative ways to use SFBT with children and teens

In this workshop I will share experiences from my practice with children and teens that I have found to be effective in helping them accomplish their best hopes. I will use Elliott Connie's and Adam Froerer's frame work of the solution-focused diamond, and show creative examples for each component. I will demonstrate ideas, using simple resources, of how to include young people and their family members in an engaging counselling session. At the end of the workshop I will allow time for the group to share their ideas, hoping we will all leave with a fuller kete of practical ways of supporting our young ones in SFBT ways.

Nicky Fredericks & Andrea Lemm

I am Nicky, a social worker who is currently working and living in Brisbane with my whānau (family). Growing up we were encouraged to have a whānau hui (family meetings) every Sunday to korero (talk) to any 'take' and hui until there was a resolution. You learnt to listen to hear not listen to respond. We attended tangihanga (funerals) which over time become 'rite' and we learnt the same process occurred each time which I now know as wāhanga. Within my mahi (work) wāhanga is paramount to providing a superior service to whānau (families), it's the korowai (cloak) if you like of quality practice.

Hi, I am Andrea, a social worker who has practiced social work in Germany, England and for the past ten years in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. The solution focused approach has been paramount to my work in child protection. I am also a social work supervisor who provides SF supervision and social work to predominantly young people in care and their families.

Title: He awa whiria (the braided river model) - how to access Mauri Ora when working with diversity.

The braided river model combines western Eurocentric models and Māori kaupapa frameworks and integrates both knowledge systems for a better outcomes for all. As practitioners we have a duty to acknowledge diversity and in particular indigenous frameworks. We need to be aware of our own diversity and that of others.
In our workshop we will share some examples and knowledge around how we incorporate and acknowledge diversity.
Nāku te rourou nōu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi - With your basket and my basket we will sustain everyone.

Anna Francis

My name is Anna Francis and I live in Darfield, just out of Christchurch. I have an online private practice, working with a wide variety of individuals and couples throughout NZ. I’m also the CEO of The SFU, a Solution Focused Brief Therapy online training organisation based in the USA. My passion for SFBT was born as soon as I learned about it during my studies and I have been obsessed with it ever since.

Title: Maintaining a Solution Focused Mindset

To have successful Solution Focused conversations with our clients we must be disciplined in maintaining a mindset that allows us to see the best in them, even when they don't see it themselves. This can be a challenge but when we understand the ‘why’ a SF mindset is important it makes the ‘how’ much easier to do. During this workshop we'll discuss how this mindset guides our ability to ask effective questions, helps us to stay on track throughout the session and builds our confidence in using this approach no matter what our clients bring to a session.

Raesha Ismail

Raesha graduated in December 2020 with her Masters of Counselling at the University of Canterbury. She currently sees clients at Petersgate counselling and Canterbury Men's Centre. She has established her own unique way of counselling that aligns with trauma-informed care, bicultural and cross-cultural SFBT integration. Raesha has a passion for culturally responsive counselling. She also specialises in Unwanted Sexual Behaviours, Pornography Addiction and Betrayal Trauma due to internet infidelity.

Raesha has 18 years of experience in education as a primary teacher, tertiary health educator and teacher trainer. Overall holistic health and well-being is a significant part of her work.

After the loss of her brother during the March 15th Mosque attacks it is her best hopes to use this adversity to help bring more community awareness about being a Muslim in Aotearoa and what hope and healing looks like in Islam.

Title: Bicultural and Multicultural SFBT practice.

SFBT can be utilised to enhance bicultural and multicultural practice. By listening with intent and language matching clients can feel valued, heard and supported. Desired outcomes are achieved that allow for client success. Though skillful questioning clients can be supported to make meaningful change towards their preferred future. This workshop will offer examples of effective solution focused practice with clients from different cultural groups.

Denise Krause, Susan Green, & Barbara Brontman

Denise J. Krause, LCSW, MSSW, Columbia University. Ms. Krause is the Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Alumni Relations and Clinical Professor at the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Some of her publications include: Krause, Green, Koury, & Hales, (2017), Solution-focused trauma-informed care (SF-TIC): An integration of models; Kazi, Coombes, Krause, & Anderson, (2015), Effect of solution focused training on the focused training on the permanency outcome in child welfare: A realist evaluation; and Randolph & Krause, (2002), Mutual aid in the classroom: An instructional technology application. Ms. Krause has been involved in several ongoing teaching and training initiatives in New York since 2000. She regularly offers workshops and presentations on solution focused practice and teaching at the university, community, national, and international levels.

Susan A. Green, LCSW is a Clinical Full Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She is the Co-Director of the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and Buffalo Center for Social Research. Professor Green is the Principal Investigator (PI) on multiple grant projects for the implementation of trauma-informed approaches in various agencies, organizations and systems of care. She has been a contributing author and presenter for peer-reviewed, trauma-related publications and presentations. Professor Green practices and is trained and licensed in several trauma therapies as well as sitting on various committees and councils for trauma-related practices, curriculum, and community work.

Barbara Brontman is an LCSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor) and is currently working in palliative care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY. She has experience working with multicultural adults and adolescents in inpatient and outpatient substance use agencies; outpatient mental health clinics; and comfort care during end of life in the hospital setting. Barbara’s practices are centered in Solution Focused and Trauma Informed approaches and she is inspired by SFTIC’s positive impact on clients and coworkers in diverse areas of her work.

Title: Using Solution-Focused Skills to be Trauma-Informed with Diverse Populations

This interactive presentation invites participants to discuss how the stance and skills of solution-focused practice creates a trauma-informed environment. Practicing with diverse populations invites workers to acknowledge the impact of trauma (including historical) and resilience. Solution-Focused Trauma-Informed Care (SF-TIC) considers TIC the “what,” or the overarching framework, and solution-focused techniques the “how,” as they provide concrete strategies for individuals in any role to anchor the five values/principles of TIC. SF-TIC positions individuals to neutralise the potential of re-traumatisation, work toward possibility and promote a realistic sense of hope for the future. The presenters will provide individual and organisational level examples.