Working with Violence and Confrontation Using Solution Focused Approaches: Creative Practice with Children, Young People and Adults


An authoritative, interdisciplinary book which outlines how solution-focused practice is particularly effective in addressing violent behaviour in clients and service users, encompassing work with both adults and children.

Solution-focused approaches have been used successfully with a range of violent behaviours from school-based bullying to severe domestic violence, as well as with victims of violence. Solution-focused approaches hold people accountable for building solutions to their violent behaviour. The book shows how to engage clients in solution talk as opposed to problem talk, set useful goals and help clients to develop new behaviours. It outlines the practice principles and working techniques that make up solution-focused practice with physical, emotional and sexual violence. Illustrative case studies and practice activities are provided.

This book is suitable for anyone working to help reduce violent behaviour, including social workers, counsellors, therapists, nurses, probation workers and youth offending teams.


  • 1. Introduction.
  • 2. Understanding The Position Of Each Person.
  • 3. Finding exceptions or unique outcomes to violence and conflict.
  • 4. Setting Achievable Goals.
  • 5. Discovering Strengths and Resources.
  • 6. Scaling Safety and Progress.
  • 7. Ending a Session.
  • References.

Author Bio:

Judith Milner a solution focused practitioner, trainer, consultant and writer. Previously a senior lecturer in social work, Judith now acts as a therapist, consultant and Independent Expert to family courts in child protection, domestic violence and contested contact cases.


“Some problems can seem more intractable and impervious to change efforts than others, and violence is certainly one of these, so it is refreshing to find a book that offers such a positive and hopeful approach to work in this field. Judith Milner and Steve Myers are to be commended for their boldness in showing how solution focused approaches can help people move from problems of violence towards preferred lives, and how such approaches can be used creatively, even at times playfully. Their book provides a cornucopia of useful questions directed at change, while keeping safety in mind, drawing from an interconnecting range of solution focused, brief therapy, narrative and Signs of Safety approaches. The plentiful practice examples and practice activities enhance the book’s practical nature, which make it likely that anyone charged with finding solutions in violent situations will find something useful inside these pages” – Guy Shennan, Independent Consultant in Solution Focused Practice and Chair of the British Association of Social Workers.