31 Solution-focused coaching: The basics for advanced practitioners

Anthony M. Grant


The solution-focused approach has much to offer coaching both novice and advanced practitioners. The core solution-focused principles discussed in this paper can augment and extend all facets of coaching practice. This article outlines the central features of the solution-focused approach to coaching and extends the utility of those basic features for use and for reflection by novice and more advanced coaching practitioners. Practical models discussed in this article include the ‘solution-focused cathartic wave’ – a model that tracks the emergence of emotional catharsis during the coaching conversation; the ‘probing for solutions model’ which provides a simple structure for solution-focused coaching conversations; and also discussion on how a solution-focused approach can be used in a range of change-orientated settings.


solution-focused coaching; cathartic wave; Ask-Tell matrix.

Original publication details: Grant, A. M. (2019, December). Solution-focused coaching: The basics for advanced practitioners. The Coaching Psychologist, 15(2), 44–53. Reproduced with permission of The British Psychological Society.

Coaching is intrinsically about helping individuals, groups, teams and organisational systems articulate and then move towards the attainment of desired goals, states and outcomes. In this sense all coaching is ‘solution-focused’ regardless of the theoretical framework ...

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