Social workers who utilize the solution-focused model are mindful of how their conversations with their clients, families, groups, or even community members facilitate their thinking about solutions. The client is always the “expert,” and therefore social workers ask questions to explore how the client perceives the problem and situation.
Social workers may use solution-focused questions such as the miracle question. For example, “Suppose you woke up one morning and by some miracle everything you ever wanted, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened—your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it. What would be different in your life?” When clients are asked this, it forces them to reflect on what they want or would like to achieve. By projecting themselves into the future, clients are more likely to imagine what is possible rather than focusing on the past and their failures. This allows for the possibility of developing solutions.
In this Discussion, you apply the solution-focused model and solution-focused questions. You provide other solution-focused questions, similar to the miracle question that was provided for you.

 Recall a case from your fieldwork experience to use for this Discussion.

If you don’t have field experience that applies to this Discussion, you can apply other social work experience, including internships or professional experience, or apply a case study from this course. Contact your Instructor if you need clarification for what could apply for the Discussion.
Review and focus on pages 520–521 in your textbook.
This Discussion is meant to function as a roleplay. Be sure to review the solution-focused questions resources and reflect on how to ask a multilayered questionSolution-Focused Questions

© 2021 Walden University, LLC 1

Solution-Focused Questions

Program Transcript

MALE SPEAKER: So look, man. I know you’ve really been dealing a lot struggling with

your kind of depression. Not really being able to navigate the world so well, kind of have

some anxieties around going out, and being around people. Just that basic social

anxiety. So if you could really change one thing about yourself, and go one place in the

world, where would you go?

FEMALE SPEAKER: If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to change

about your life?

FEMALE SPEAKER: So, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, in your life right now, and it’s

really overwhelming for you, you’ve said. I want you to imagine that, tonight, when you

go to sleep, all of your problems disappear. I know it’d be great if that actually

happened, but if it did, and you woke up tomorrow, what would it be like for you? What

would a day look like if all of these problems went away, and things were how you

wanted them to be?© Walden University, LLC 1

Theory Into Practice: Four Social Work Case Studies

In this course, you select one of the following four case studies and use it throughout
the entire course. By doing this, you will have the opportunity to see how different
theories guide your view of a client and that client’s presenting problem. Each time you
return to the same case, you will use a different theory, and your perspective of the
problem will change—which then changes how you ask assessment questions and how
you intervene.

Table of Contents

Ella Schultz ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

Paula Cortez ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Sam Franklin ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10

Helen Petrakis ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

© Walden University, LLC 2

Ella Schultz

Identifying Data
Ella Schultz is a 16-year-old White female of German decent. She was raised in Ohio.
Ella’s family consists of her father, Robert (44 years old), and her mother, Rose (39
years old). Ella currently resides in a residential group home, where she has been since
she ran away from home. Ella has been provided room and board in the residential
treatment facility for the past 3 months. Ella describes herself as bi-sexual.

Presenting Problem
Ella has been living homeless for 13 months. She has been arrested on two occasions
for shoplifting and once for loitering (as a teen in need of supervision) in the last 7
months. Ella has recently been court ordered to reside in a group home with counseling.
She refuses to return home due to the abuse she experienced. After 3 months at Teens
First, Ella said she is thinking about reinitiating contact with her mother. She has not
seen either parent in 6 months and missed the stability of the way her family “used to
be,” although she is also conflicted due to recognizing the instability of her family. Ella is
confused about the path to follow.

Family Dynamics
Ella indicates that her family worked well until her father began drinking heavily about 3
years ago. She remembers her parents being social and going out or having friends
over for drinks, but she never remembered them becoming drunk. Then, her father lost
his job as an information technology (IT) support professional and was unable to find
meaningful work. He took on part-time jobs at electronics stores, but they left him
demoralized. Her parents stopped socializing, and then her father was fired from his last
job because he arrived drunk. Ella’s father would regularly be drunk by the time she
arrived home from school.

When Ella started having trouble in school, her fPage 520-521
Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Exception questions:

Inquire about times when the problem is either absent, less intense, or dealt with in a manner that is acceptable to the client. Ex. When don’t you have this problem? When is the problem less bad? What is the different about these times?

Miracle question:

Provide a space for clients to separate themselves from their problem-saturated context and construct a future vision of life without the presenting complaint or with acceptable improvements in the problem.

Coping Questions:

Help clients notice times when they are coping with their problems and what it is they are doing at those times when they are successfully coping. Ex. How have you been able to keep going despite all the difficulties you’ve encountered? How are you able to get around despite not being able to walk?

Scaling Questions:

Usually, ask clients to rank their situation and/or goal on a one-to-ten scale where one would represent the worst scenario that could possibly be, and ten is the most desirable outcome.

Relationship Questions:

When asked clients to imagine how significant others in their environment might react to their problem or situation might react to their problem or situation and the changes they make. Relationship questions contextualize not only problem definitions but also the client’s desired goals and changes. Ex. What would your mother (or spouse, sister, etc.) notice that is different about you if you are more comfortable with the new environment? How would your wife or other significant other ranks your motivation to change on a one to ten scale?




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