Ben Furman workshop, Brisbane, Australia, 23 August 2017

Unique Outcomes proudly announces the return to Australia of Ben Furman, world renowned psychiatrist, Ericksonian family therapist and teacher of Brief Solution-focused therapy.

Join us for Ben’s only Australian workshop…

“A Masterclass in Brief Solution-Focused Practice”

A unique learning experience for seasoned therapists and counsellors.

Ben is Director of the Helsinki Brief Therapy Institute. For the past 2 decades he has travelled the world teaching a model of therapy, or coaching, where the emphasis is not on digging into problems in order to understand where they derive from, but on generating conversations that empower and inspire people to come up with their own unique solutions. In his home country, Ben is well-known for a talk show he used to host on Finnish national TV for several years. Ben is also the author of several professional as well as popular books. His most well-known book “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”, has been translated into several different languages. He has a long-standing interest in working with trauma in a solution-focused manner. Together with his colleagues Ben has developed a simple, yet powerful, solution-focused method for helping children overcome emotional and behavioural problems known as Kids’Skills. Ben is a humorous presenter with a unique skill of conveying complex ideas to audiences in a simple and entertaining manner.

You will learn:

  • How to instil hope from the get-go
  • How to turn undesirable problems into desirable goals
  • How to see the client’s social network as a resource
  • How to think about the past as an asset rather than a liability
  • How to utilize the power of fantasy and imagination
  • How to use solution-focused questions effectively
  • How to respond when clients say “I don’t know”
  • How to find resources and how to utilize them
  • How to inspire clients’ own creativity

Prepare for short inspiring lectures, stimulation Q&A sessions, fun exercises, and impressive live demos. In previous visits to Australia, Ben has received rave reviews and we are expecting that this workshop will fill quickly. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn these methods from one of the originators.

Find out more about Ben, his books, videos and blogs at

You might like to download this app for free

When: 9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m., Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Where: The Pavilion, Breakfast Creek, Brisbane, Australia

Price: $330 including GST (includes all materials, morning tea & afternoon tea and lunch, 7 hours cpd)

Click here to book your place


Literary Advocate workshop- October 2016



This joyous 1-day workshop celebrates the transformational power of the written word.

It is open to all human service practitioners – activists, subversives, storytellers and introverts – curious to explore novel and surprising ways they and the people they work with can use writing to bring about growth and change.

Creative writing is undergoing a renaissance across many human service domains – from therapy to group work to organizational culture building, to community development.

This busy, highly interactive workshop will introduce you to the possibilities prdisadvlightovided by:

  • Stretch Listing
  • 6-Word Stories
  • Little Books
  • ‘Dear You’ and ‘Therapeutic’ Letters
  • Micro Stories and Fiction
  • Communal Writing
  • Message in a Bottle
  • Therapeutic Poetry and Song-writing.
  • Memoirs
  • Harnessing The Power of Metaphor
  • Poster and T-shirt design
  • Planning a Community Writing Group.

Warning: This workshop takes place in a PowerPoint Free Zone.

Participants need to bring trustworthy writing implements.

Participants may leave never wanting to write a case note ever again.

 The Presenter

Russell capt grumpyDeal is a writer, publisher, facilitator, social worker and teacher.

He is also the Founder of St Luke’s Innovative Resources which has a worldwide reputation with human service practitioners for its creative use of visual metaphor to create stories of growth and change. Russell has helped design, author and publish over 60 conversation-building tools which he has continued into private practice.

In 2014 Russell was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to Social Work and the Community.

This will be his only workshop in Brisbane in 2016.

When?  9.30a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Thursday 20 October 2016

Where?  Northside Meetings, 110 Windsor Rd Red Hill, Brisbane

How Much? $275 (inc.GST) includes all materials, a delicious lunch and refreshments

To register, please click here

NOTE: Places strictly limited- secure your place now to avoid disappointment.

“Russell’s workshops are … different” (Russell’s Mum)

Collaborative Supervision workshop, July 2016

uo workshop 2015

Supporting colleagues through one to one and team/peer group supervision is such a central aspect of our work that we eagerly await this annual  opportunity to put our heads together with others whose roles include a focus on supervision.  We arrive at these workshops with many recent stories of supervision conversations that have challenged and inspired us and leave with new understandings based on the challenging questions and reflections raised by participants.

Throughout this highly experiential workshop, we will draw on narrative and other collaborative approaches to explore ways to:

  • Establish a supervisory alliance that prioritises mutual growth and learning as well as accountability,
  • Identify colleagues’ learning goals based on existing competencies, concerns and hopes,
  • Deconstruct experiences of ‘success’ in ways that appreciate “tacit knowledge”, recognise emerging skills and acknowledge the ways success is supported by others, including clients and others
  • Support colleagues to track learning themes and ways they are holding onto important values and beliefs through their practice,
  • Define practice issues, struggles and ‘failures’ in ways that avoid blame, acknowledge context and sbooks imagehift the focus toward the skills and learnings that have been enabling them to “get through” so far,
  • Ensure that the voice of the ‘client’ is present as much as possible in reflections on practice
  • Identify, define and deconstruct ethical dilemmas in ways that honour multiple perspectives and intentions
  • Elicit and offer constructive feedback, even when there are concerns or significant differences of opinion or approach.
  • Provide information and reflections on our own experiences without imposing or constructing a ‘hierarchy of knowledges’
  • Bring colleagues together in small peer group settings to make “supervision” a more collective and creative experience
  • Collaboratively review together the value and effectiveness of supervision

The workshop will be largely experiential, including live examples, structured exercises and opportunities for discussion and questions

quaker centreWe will be hosting this event at The Quaker Meeting House in Kelvin Grove, a unique venue close to the CBD in a beautiful and surprisingly peaceful setting. We are fond of this venue with its history of many small interesting gatherings.

Times: The workshop will run from 9.30 a.m. sharp till 4.30 p.m. each day

Fees: $550 (incl GST) include all materials and delicious refreshments and lunch each day

Click here to register your interest in our 2016 Collaborative Supervision workshop.

Collaborative Work with Families Workshop, August 2016

pegsWe are excited to be hosting a shared exploration of the implications of placing an ethic of collaboration squarely at the centre of our work with parents and their families.

Since our involvement in Qld’s earliest Intensive Family Based Services in the mid-90s we have maintained a strong interest in this area. Over the past few years we have been working closely again with several teams providing family support, education and counselling, often in the shadow of significant concerns about the well-being of particular family members, usually those in the family with less access to some forms of power. In these contexts, the “keenness” to engage with services is not to be taken for granted and the issue of “engagement” is key.

Recent shifts in Qld’s child protection policy and practice frameworks, away from a primary focus on assessing and managing risk and toward a greater focus on harnessing family strengths, have the potential to open space for workers to experiment again with more collaborative ways of engaging with parents and their families.

toasting marshmallowsThe workshop will be an opportunity to critically examine “reluctance” and even “resistance” as points of entry for conversations with parents about their own private concerns and values.

On the first day we will identify engagement skills for:

  • responding to ‘resistance’, ‘reluctance’, ‘minimising’ or avoidance of responsibility,
  • defining and prioritising issues/concerns in hopeful ways, and
  • developing shared goals and methods for measuring progress

On the second day we will explore ways workers committed to collaboration can:

  • help parents avoid “goal drift” and stay focused on working toward their vision & goals
  • provide feedback in constructive and empowering ways
  • prepare for and recognise signs that it is time to “transition” into a different relationship with a family

The workshop will include lots of sharing of practice stories as well as maps and tools we have been drawn to in our own work with families.

We will be hosting tquaker centrehis event at The Quaker Meeting House in Kelvin Grove, a unique venue close to the CBD in a beautiful and surprisingly peaceful setting. We are fond of this venue with its history of many small interesting gatherings.

Times: The workshop will run from 9.30 a.m. sharp till 4.30 p.m. each day

Fees: $550 (incl GST) include all materials and delicious refreshments and lunch each day.

Click here to register your interest in our 2016 Collaborative Work with Families workshop.

Why we seldom offer workshops

Why we seldom offer stand-alone workshops these days…

Have you ever been to a brilliant workshop that got you excited about doing things differently and then only a few weeks later realised that the “post-camp-high” has evaporated, leaving very little tangible benefit in your day to day practice?

Perhaps these experiences have made you a little “workshop-wary”? As trainers who’ve done more than our fair share of workshops over the past couple of decades, we have observed that, along with “role-play phobia”, “workshop-wariness” is on the rise. We reckon there are good reasons for this.

According to the “70:20:10” model of learning and development (McCall and others) only around 10% of the most successful workers’ learning comes from formal learning events like workshops. This model suggests that around 20% of these workers’ learning comes from social interactions like supervision while around 70% comes from on the job experience.


We believe it’s time to re-position learning events like workshops so they are part of a range of better integrated learning processes.

Most of our work these days is in “learning partnerships” with individuals, teams, “communities of practice” and organisations to develop tailored learning projects. These often include workshops following careful consultation that ensures we all enter these learning events quite aware of the knowledges and hopes participants are bringing. These formal gatherings are then followed up through one to one supervision and coaching, peer group supervision, learning circles and other processes designed to ensure participants have opportunities to link the ideas encountered in the formal workshops with their own challenges and experimentation back “at the coal-face”.

We’re increasingly confident that positioning workshops within these more developmental projects, helps to link the 70, the 20 and the 10, leading to more significant, accelerated and lasting innovations in practice.

So please feel free to come along and try out one of our workshops and keep in mind that we’d ultimately prefer to think of ways to link your 70 with your 20 and your 10.  This might be as simple as setting up 2 or 3 follow-up supervision/coaching sessions to support your implementation of the ideas after the workshop. Alternatively you might like to talk with us about a broader learning partnership or project we could work on together. Click here to share your thoughts or hopes.

Practice Development Projects

D & P (2)In 2015 we enjoyed working with a number of teams wanting to discover the ingredients of their most successful practice and try out new ways of addressing the challenges they face in complex roles.

These included St Vincent de Paul Child & Family Programs, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Qld Physio team and Uniting Care Community (UCC) Logan Intensive Family Support service.

We also commenced a 12 month ‘Communities of Practice’ project with the UCC’s ISA (Inclusion Support Agencies) workers around the state to grow practice wisdom in relation to their inclusion work with child care providers.   Click here if you would like to talk with us about ways we could facilitate such a project with your team.


booop (2)Each year we enjoy many fascinating conversations with people who trust us to support them in reflecting on the struggles and discoveries of their lives.

Our counselling practice includes lots of work with children and their families. It has been heaps of fun catching up with some of Brisbane’s most clever and interesting young people in conversations about the tricky characters they encounter in their lives.

Pictured is Beth poking out her tongue at “Booop” the evil mastermind who tries to steal her sleep! Click here if you’d like to refer someone.

Supervision & Worker Wellbeing

3 monkiesOne to One and Team Supervision

We continue to have the privilege of sharing regular supervision conversations at our Taringa consulting room or sometimes at Brisbane’s finest cafes, with over 40 workers from diverse practice backgrounds as well as several teams.

We have a longstanding commitment to providing practice-focused supervision especially with colleagues who share our interest in collaborative approaches

Contributing to quality field education for human service work has also been a priority for us throughout our careers and in 2015 we provided weekly supervision for social work students on placement at Karakan.

We provided team supervision to AnglicareSQ’s Living Without Violence team, Save the Children Family Support Workers, Jabiru Communities team, Communify PHaM’s, UCC IFSS Leadership Group, BABI Youth and Family Service and Inala Community House Family Steps team.

We also commenced a “supervision of supervision” group for UCC supervisors wanting to  regularly reflect on their supervision practice. Click here if you would like to talk with us about one to one or team supervision.

Worker Well-being and Self-Care rfq image

We were CD imagedelighted to be invited to work with a number of teams wanting to broaden their repertoires for self-care and “maintaining their ‘mojo’.

We provided workshops on these themes for teams including Richmond Fellowship Qld (RFQ), Clown Doctors and team leaders of St Vincent de Paul’s Family Intervention Service (FIS) teams.

Click here to let us know if you’d like us to help you and your colleagues become clearer about your own “worker well-being plans” for 2016.


Strengthening Supervision Practice in Organisations

centrelink 1

In 2015 we were pleasmdaed to support a number of organisations seeking toCentrelink 2 make the most of their professional support and supervision processes.

This included Centrelink social workers and the entire crew of Multicultural Development Association (MDA) with whom we engaged in a series of workshops to develop shared understandings of ways to participate in collaborative supervision as supervisees as well as workshops for supervisors to develop skills for hosting collaborative supervision conversations.

Click here if you would like to talk with us about supporting the development of these processes and skills in your organisation.


Facilitating Organisational Change

asqWe have been excited to step into designing and facilitating both one off events and longer term projects intended to assist organisations facing significant times of change.

During 2015 we commenced a 12 month project with the newly formed Mental Health and Family Wellbeing team of Anglicare SQ. This project is designed to strengthen the team’s practice culture by focusing on 5 key areas for change: Leadership, Shared Identity, Learning Culture, Community Engagement and Service Integration.

qfesWe also facilitated a ‘summit’ for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) staff involved in Community Engagement activities. Later in the year we were delighted to be approached by QFES to provide training and consultancy services for the reinstatement of the FFF program, a juvenile fire setting prevention/intervention program.  We will be working with QFES management and FFF practitioners until at least June 2016 to re-establish this important program de-funded by the previous state government. Click here if you would like to talk with us about the ways we could support your organisation as it faces big changes.

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