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A Solution-Focused Approach to Single-Session Client Work with Couples and Families

Event Details
Date: 16 August 2022
Time: 10.00-11.30am AEST
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

Refer to listing

Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000


Engaging with couples and families in a time-limited (single session) approach is becoming more common for a variety of reasons and across multiple practice settings. Working from a structured and evidence-based model provides greater opportunities for a helpful and productive session to occur, including increasing the likelihood of clients engaging in further support at a later date.

Without this structured approach, practitioners run the risk of engaging with clients in a haphazard and eclectic manner such that single sessions can result in frustration for all parties and poorer therapeutic outcomes for clients.

Solution-focused therapy is a well-researched and evidence-based approach to client work, including its application as a broad framework and focused approach in specific areas of practice.

A solution-focused approach to couple and family support is a particularly well-established area of work, with numerous studies demonstrating its effectiveness in particular areas of client concern such as communication and conflict management, as well as with different levels of client motivation.

This webinar will present a practical approach to single-session work with couples and families based on a solution-focused model, including:

  • an overview of the theory behind solution-focused client work and relationships/family work more broadly.
  • acknowledgement of areas of work with couples or families where a solution-focused approach may or may not be appropriate.
  • practical solution-focused strategies for use in a single session including an example of a single-session structure.
  • discussion of potential challenges and ethical considerations. Examples of practice will be provided throughout.

Who should attend? Emerging, evolving and established practitioners working in a therapeutic setting or within goal-based client work with couples and/or families (including individuals presenting with relationship or family concerns).

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge
AASW Credentials: Mental Health; Clinical

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the theory underlying solution-focused practice and couple/family work
  • Structure an effective single session of work with couples and families
  • Apply specific solution-focused strategies for working with couples and families in a range of settings
  • Identify the strengths and limitations of solution-focused single-session work in specific settings and client concerns


Michael Ellwood

Michael has been working in therapeutic practice for 18 years across a range of settings and client populations, and has run his own private practice for 6 years. The majority of his work has utilised time-limited approaches to counselling including solution-focused therapy. He has a Masters of Counselling as well as a Graduate Diploma of Social Work (Family Therapy & Advanced Counselling) and a Bachelor of Social Work.

As well as his current private practice work, he also works as an Associate Lecturer within the University of Queensland’s Masters of Counselling program, within which he lectures in Family Therapy as well as Relationship Counselling and has previously lectured in Theories of Counselling. He also provides clinical supervision for social workers and counsellors and supervises Masters of Counselling students during their clinical placement.

Location and date

Live online: a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the webinar
Tuesday 16 August 2022
10.00-11.30am AEST

A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants via email after the event and available to watch for 2 weeks.


Members: $90.00 (including GST)
New graduates, retired and student members: $45.00 (including GST)
Non-members: $120.00 (including GST)
Non-member students: $90.00 (including GST)


To receive member prices please login to the member centre before proceeding with your purchase.

Click submit on the right-hand side of this page to register.

*Please note: registrations close 16 August 2022 at 9.00am AEST

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers