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Solution Focused Therapy


Entry requirements

Only open to Master students specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology and research master’s students track Developmental Psychology.


In the field of youth care, we use a variety of methods to support children, adolescents and parents. Within the Master in Psychology, specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology, students have the opportunity to learn about and apply some of these methods. In this course, we will use Ben Furman’s programme Kids’ Skills. This is a solution-based programme which is grounded in family therapy. Inviting all parties involved (parents, children, care-givers, teachers) to have input and participate is a characteristic aspect of family therapy.

Ben Furman, a Finnish psychotherapist/psychiatrist, has designed a playful and practical approach to solving difficulties of all kinds. By means of a 15-step-programme, children and adolescents overcome difficulties in a positive and constructive way by learning new skills. This program spends little or no time on finding potential causes of difficulties. The focus is on what children or adolescents need to learn. To learn new skills, you need all the support you can get from your environment. Instead of blaming parents or teachers, we invite them to give input about the skill that needs to be learned. Because of this and because of the way the programme is structured, parents/care-givers become actively involved and responsible. They take on a supportive role in relation to the child and therefore contribute significantly to the learning process. As the therapist, you are the expert of the process of the solution focused method. However, the participants, the parents, the teachers and the children are the experts in finding their own solutions.

Kids’ Skills may seem a simple method; however, the implementation requires a new attitude, especially on the part of the therapist! Students will work together with small groups of children at school or at home during this course.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Acquire knowledge of the theoretical background of solution-focused interventions;

  • Learn basic skills in applying the main therapeutic interventions within the sessions;

  • Learn basic skills in applying the main therapeutic intervention in contact with parents / caregivers and teachers;

  • Learn to look at problems and their solutions in a different way as a result of working with the programme; and

  • Be able to reflect on their therapeutic attitude and interventions and to report on the progress and outcome of this programme.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

6 plenary lectures, 16 work group sessions, which involve peer consultation and supervision.

Assessment method

  • Active participation in the supervision and peer consultation sessions

  • Theory-based reflection reports describing the actual interventions

  • Meta-reflection report

  • Evaluations from parents, teachers and peer consultation group

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

For International students:

  • Furman, B., (2007). Kids’ Skills. playful and practical solution-finding with children. St Luke’s innovative Resources, Australia ISBN0 9580188 9 8

  • Kim Berg, I., Steiner, T., (2003) Children’s solutions work. WW Norton & Co, ISBN13 9780393703870.

For Dutch students:

  • Furman, B (2007). Kids’ Skills. op speelse wijze vaardigheden ontwikkelen bij kinderen. (2e druk) Nelissen Soest.

  • Kim Berg, I., Steiner, T. (2010). Het spel van oplossingen. Oplossingsgerichte psychotherapie voor kinderen. Uitgeverij Pearson Assessment And Information.

  • Tjin A Djie, K. & Zwaan, I. (2015) Beschermjassen op school, aandacht voor verschil in het onderwijs. Assen: Van Gorcum.

Contact information

Prof.dr. Michiel Westenberg