Speakers & Programme

Speakers and abstract will appear here. However we can tell you that presenters include; Rebekka Ouer, Elliott Connie, Rob Silver, Cate Walton, Paul Hanton…and more.

Abstract submissions are open; please submit an abstract of about 100 words for a 40 minute presentation. Presentations may be didactic, case studies, interactive workshops, research presentations, topical discussions etc. There is no specific format required but your abstract must satisfy the organising group that the content is relevant to useful to share in our SF community.

Click here to Submit Your Abstract

If you wish to make a briefer presentation, slots may be split but you will need to find someone to fill the remaining time and co-submit. Such submissions should have a common theme, e.g., current research findings.

Please also submit a brief bio, again of no more than 200 words. Please insert these on the submission form at the above link.

If this is your first time presenting your solution focused ideas and/or work and are a little worried, please don’t be, you are amongst friends. Fee free to contact us if you need some advice, guidance or support.

Here is conference timetable: conference timetable 2023 as of Oct 2 conference timetable 2023 October 2nd  Which means, the conference timetable is for 2023, the latest iteration of which was October 2nd 2022..it changes 🙂


Rebekka Ouer - Morning Keynote. SFBT & the LGBT community.

Rebekka Ouer is a clinical social worker who specializes 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 & Resilience.
 LGBT Individuals
 LGBT Couples & Relationships
 Trans Teens & Families
 Transgender Letter Assessments

SFBT is the absolute perfect fit for working with marginalized 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 & author who has been passionately utilizing SFBT while working with LGBT
clients in the American south for the last decade.

Elliott Connie - Special guest - Closing Speech

About Elliott Connie
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 recognized
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 4
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".

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

Short note (like a keynote, but briefer). 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 10 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 2 married kids, 2 kids-in-law, 2 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!

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 her clients.

To come

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 2 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.

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.o come

Wanda Douglas

Wanda is a Registered Psychologist who has been practising across both public and private sectors since 1996. She was employed with the Royal New Zealand Air Force for 7 ½ years, half that time as the Director of Psychology, and has been a Reservist Psychologist with NZ Army since 2002. Wanda has practical knowledge of change management, having been involved in the downsizing of the RNZAF and also as an HR Manager with a corporate IT firm that underwent a number of critical restructures. She worked as an executive coach in Auckland and continues to provide similar services in a range of areas including leadership, emotional intelligence and resilience since establishing her own business in Hawke’s Bay in 2010. Over the last seven years Wanda has broadened her skillbase in sports psychology; which includes contracting work with the HB Rugby Union and High Performance Sport NZ. Wanda has also resumed work in the aviation sector, conducting psychometric assessments for aircrew selection for PHI International NZ Ltd. Wanda is happily married with two mischievous teenage boys and a very spoilt cat!

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.

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 see's 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.

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 Krause, LCSW-R
Denise J. Krause, 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 Green, LCSW
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, LCSW, CASAC
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.

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 neutralize the potential of re-traumatization, work toward possibility and promote a realistic sense of hope for the future. The presenters will provide individual and organizational level examples.