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Envisioning New Futures, Building New Lives: Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families

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Welcome to Collaborative Helping: A Simple Map to Transform Relational Positioning Bill Madsen Family-Centered Services Project www.family-centeredservices.org – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Envisioning New Futures, Building New Lives: Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families


1
Welcome to
Collaborative HelpingA Simple Map to
Transform Relational Positioning
Bill Madsen Family-Centered Services
Project www.family-centeredservices.org madsen1_at_co
mcast.net
2
Plan for our Time Together
  • Examining the Terrain of Frontline Work
  • Collaborative Helping Maps to Enhance Worker
    Thinking
  • Collaborative Helping Maps to Enhance
    Conversations with Families
  • Collaborative Helping Maps to Supervisory
    Conversations
  • Summary and Wrap-up

3
Overview of Collaborative Helping
  • An integrative principle-based practice framework
    for helping
  • Emphasizes the relational stance we take with the
    people we serve
  • Grounded in a story metaphor
  • Organized around inquiry our expertise is the
    ability to ask compelling questions

4
Collaborative Helping
  • Draws from
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Narrative, Solution-Focused, and Collaborative
    Therapy Approaches
  • Signs of Safety work in CPS
  • The reported experiences of families.

5
The Terrain of our Work and the Usefulness of
Principle-Based Practice Frameworks
6
Decision-Making in Family-Centered Practice
  • This work is messy. It often demands that we
    focus on the exception rather than the rule. At
    the same time, it is important that helping
    responses are grounded in a clearly articulated
    set of assumptions and principles.
  • Efforts to bring order and certainty to work
    characterized by unpredictability run the risk of
    missing the point. We need to (re)discover our
    traditional strengths in working with ambiguity,
    uncertainty and complexity. (Parton and OByrne
    2000)

7
Two approaches along a continuum of managing the
inherent uncertainty of this work
  • Command and control social work, reactive
    managerialism, blame prevention engineering and
    protocolization.
  • Development of reflective judgment and
    principle-based embracing of ambiguity,
    uncertainty and complexity.

8
Technical and Adaptive Problems(Ronald Heifetz
Leadership without Easy Answers)
  • A technical problem yields a right answer through
    the application of an appropriate and pre-made
    plan. Most textbook problem sets in mathematics,
    science, engineering, or business feature
    technical problems that have right answers that
    fit the problem.
  • An adaptive problem doesnt have a clear,
    pre-made particular or certain answer. Adaptive
    problems are real world problems where data is
    conflicting or ambiguous, where disputants
    reasonably disagree about appropriate actions to
    resolve the problem, or where values are in
    conflict.

9
Technical Problems
  • How do you transport large quantities of food to
    impoverished areas of the world?
  • How do you fix a clutch for a car?
  • How do you take care of a broken leg?
  • How do you collect demographic information on
    people served?
  • With technical problems, the solution is, for the
    most part, already known. Technical problems
    were once adaptive problems that now have clear
    answers. The process here is knowing what
    technical solution is needed and putting into
    action.

10
Adaptive Problems
  • How will we get the economy moving again?
  • How can/should we respond to terrorism today?
  • How should I respond to my son or daughter being
    teased at school?
  • How do you respond to a teenage girl who alleges
    incest and then recants?
  • With adaptive problems, the terrain of the
    problem may be shifting, and an approach to
    learning about the problem may be as important as
    anything else. Encouraging an environment of
    learning and experimentation is key.

11
A Common Error
  • Confusing technical and adaptive problems and
    attempting to apply technical solutions to
    adaptive problems.

12
Disciplined Improvisation
  • Responding to the messiness of everyday
    practice often requires on-going learning with
    flexibility and improvisation.
  • Improvisation is too important to be left to
    chance Paul Simon
  • Disciplined Improvisation Developing flexible
    maps to operationalize family-centered values and
    principles the everyday messiness of practice

13
Usefulness of Maps
  • Conceptual maps can focus and organize workers
    thinking about complex situations
  • Conceptual maps can serve as a vehicle for
    constructive conversations between workers and
    families

14
Organizing VisionWhere do you want to be headed
in your life?
Collaborative Helping Map
  • Obstacles
  • What gets in the way?
  • Supports
  • What supports you ?

Plan What needs to happen? Drawing on Supports to
address Obstacles to get to Vision
15
Beginning with a Foundation of Engagement and
Connection
16
Relational Stance The Nucleus of our Work
Helping Practices What we do with people
Conceptual Maps How we think about people and
problems
Relational stance How we are with people
17
Building a Foundation of Family Engagement
  • Getting to know family members in ways that
    humanize them, build connection with them and
    encourage hope for shared work, while keeping
    important issues on the table.

18
Using Collaborative Helping Maps to Enhance
Worker Thinking
  • Community-based work is often characterized by
    ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity with
    significant messiness and little external
    structure.
  • Collaborative Helping maps can provide a simple
    way to help organize and focus our thinking about
    complex situations.

19
Organizing VisionClear, proactive, meaningful
visionFoundation of motivation, resourcefulness,
community
  • Obstacles
  • Individual, relational, and socio-cultural levels
  • Framed to Separate problems from people
  • Supports
  • Individual, relational and socio-cultural levels
  • Framed to Connect people to intentions and sense
    of agency
  • Plan
  • Clear, proactive, meaningful plan
  • Engaging natural community to support plan

20
Organizing VisionWhere do you want to be headed
in your life?
  • Helping People Envision Preferred Directions in
    Life
  • Envisioning a non-problematic future.
  • Focusing on preferred coping in a difficult
    present.

21
Important Aspects of Organizing Vision
  • It is important that
  • We help families develop a clear, proactive,
    mutually shared, concrete vision.
  • We help to build a foundation of motivation,
    resourcefulness and community for this vision.

22
Questions to Help People Develop an Organizing
Vision
  • Beginning at the end
  • Appreciative Inquiry questions
  • Complaint to commitment questions
  • Story in 20 years question
  • Finding a vision that is important when nothing
    else is.

23
Vision Statements in CPS Contexts
  • When your kids are 25, what do you hope that they
    will be saying about their childhood and about
    you as their parent if someone asked about their
    upbringing?

24
Questions to Build a Foundation of Motivation,
Resourcefulness and Community
  • Why is this vision important to you?
  • When have you been more able to ground your work
    in this vision?
  • Who in your life might appreciate and support you
    in pursuing this vision?

25
Organizing VisionMutually shared, proactive,
meaningful and concreteFoundation of motivation,
resourcefulness, community
  • Obstacles
  • What gets in the way of the vision?
  • Supports
  • What contributes to the vision?

Plan What do we need to do next?
26
Some Examples of Obstacles and Supports
  • Obstacles
  • Problems
  • Experiences and feelings
  • Old Habits and practices
  • Constraining interpersonal interactions (vicious
    cycles)
  • Beliefs, lifestyles, life stories
  • Dilemmas and difficult situations
  • Broader constraining cultural expectations
  • Supports
  • Abilities, Skills and Knowledge
  • Counter habits and practices
  • Sustaining interpersonal interactions (virtuous
    cycles)
  • Intentions, values, hopes, and commitments
  • Supportive community members
  • Broader sustaining cultural expectations

27
Important Aspects of Obstacles and Supports
  • Eliciting obstacles at individual, relational,
    and socio-cultural levels
  • Describing obstacles in a way that separates
    problems from people
  • Eliciting supports at individual, relational and
    socio-cultural levels
  • Describing supports in a way that connects people
    to their intentions and sense of agency

28
Viewing People as Being in a Relationship with
Obstacles
  • People are in an on-going and changeable
    relationship with Obstacles.
  • The Person is not problematic. The Obstacle or
    the Persons with the Obstacle is problematic.

29
Re-Thinking Obstacles and Supports
Organizing Vision
Obstacles
Supports
30
Questions around Obstacles
  • What are some things that can get in the way of
    or pull you away from your preferred direction in
    life?
  • How do you notice it when those things show up in
    your life?
  • What effects can those things have on your life
    and relationships?
  • What do you think about those effects? How do
    they suit you? Would you prefer that they are
    more present in your life or more absent from it?

31
Questions around Supports
  • What are some of the things that support you in
    moving towards your preferred direction in life?
  • When things are going better in your family, what
    does that look like? If we had a videotape of
    you folks at your best, what would we see?
  • What strengths, capacities, resources do you
    bring that might be helpful in pursuing this
    vision?
  • How do you put those into practice in your life?
    What helps you do that?

32
Organizing VisionMutually shared, proactive,
meaningful and concreteFoundation of motivation,
resourcefulness, community
  • Obstacles
  • Individual, relational, and socio-cultural levels
  • Externalizes problems
  • Supports
  • Individual, relational and socio-cultural levels
  • Internalizes agency

Plan Clear, proactive, mutually agreed upon
plan Concretely specifies who will do what
Engages natural community to support plan
33
Important Aspects of Plan
  • It is important that
  • We help families develop a clear, proactive,
    mutually shared plan that clearly specifies who
    will do what.
  • We work to identify and engage families natural
    communities to support that plan.

34
Some Questions to Help Develop a Plan
  • As you remember the vision that you developed,
    what makes that particular vision important to
    you?
  • As you look at the various obstacles and supports
    weve identified, which ones seem like the best
    ones to start with? Would you prefer to begin by
    addressing particular obstacles, drawing on
    particular supports of some combination of both?

35
If Beginning with Obstacles
  • As you think about this particular obstacles, are
    there times when you have been more successful in
    responding to it, coping with it, resisting it?
  • How did you do that and what helped you to do
    that?
  • What thoughts do you have about the next concrete
    steps that you might take?
  • Who might be available to help and support you in
    that process?

36
If Beginning with Supports
  • As you think about this particular support, how
    has it sustained you? How have you drawn on it?
    What steps did you take to do that?
  • What does that suggest to you about possible next
    steps?
  • Who might be available to help and support you in
    that process?

37
Using Collaborative Helping Maps to Enhance
Conversations with Families
  • Collaborative Helping maps can also guide
    conversations between workers and families about
    challenging issues in ways that minimize
    polarization and defensiveness and opens space
    for reflection and consideration of alternative
    possibilities.

38
Use of Collaborative Helping Map with a Reluctant
Family
39
Comments from a CPS Worker on Utility of CH maps
for Conversations with reluctant families
40
Usefulness of Beginning w/ Vision
  • I think it offers opportunities for them to see
    that this is actually possible, so that theres a
    possibility out there for you to get to where you
    want to be. And then when you start talking
    about whats getting in the way of getting to
    that, then people can kind of get their head
    around well this obstacle is in my way and what
    do we need to do to address that obstacle and
    what supports you in addressing that I think
    this becomes do-able to them. Starting with the
    end in mind. When youre having these kinds of
    conversations with families and youre serious,
    theyre not saying I want to live in a 5 million
    dollar home and own a yacht. Theyre saying, I
    want my kids to be happy and healthy and stable.
    Thats do-able.

41
Effects on Family
  • My guess is . . . calm. The word calm came to
    mind when you asked that question. It calmed them
    down. I mean the Dads vision is of his siblings
    being taken away and put in foster care from his
    youth. And so I think everybody calmed down when
    we started talking about what do you want for
    your kids and what is your vision for your kids
    and how can I help you get there? It didnt
    involve taking kids out of the home. I think it
    just helped them simplify and calm down.

42
Effects on Engagement
  • Personally, as much as I can in my work, I do try
    to see this as a collaboration with the family
    and not something Im doing to them. So, when
    youre talking about their hope and where they
    want to be headed and how theyre going to get
    there and who can help them and whats the plan
    for that whats getting in the way and how are
    we going to address that - were working together
    and were collaborating on reaching a goal. This
    never came across to them as something I was
    doing to them.

43
Sample Letter that documented a conversation with
a family and was sent to the parents after
initial conversation. A letter was sent to
Mother and Father. Sample following is sample of
Fathers letter.
44
Dear Tom, I am writing this letter to share back
with you some of the things we talked about in
our meeting yesterday. Hopefully this letter will
help to support the vision you have for your
family's future and encourage you down that
path.We talked about your upbringing and how
being involved with CPS and watching your
siblings being taken away really messed with your
head. You stated that your mom had a terrible
gambling problem and because of this, she was
unable to meet her children's needs. You talked
about how you want to flip around your experience
as a kid and do the exact opposite with your own
kids. You said that your upbringing with your mom
was negative, but your upbringing with your dad
was positive. You said that because of your
experience, you became very independent and
motivated to not be like your mom. You said that
you don't want your kids not knowing if they will
have electricity or clothing.
45
Vision/HopeYou stated that fifteen years from
now, you hope your kids will say that they had
fun while growing up, that they had everything
they needed, they had support from their parents
and always knew that their parents would be
there. You talked about wanting them to know
about hard work and discipline, and you want them
to be successful adults some day.
46
SupportsYou talked about how your dad has been
very supportive of you and that you first started
seeing him when you were about 13 years old. You
talked about how he said he was disappointed in
your bad decision making (in the current
situation), but he isn't mad at you. You talked
about how you and Mom and the kids see him
weekly for dinner if not more often. You also
talked about how your grandma is a support to you
and the kids and you have regular contact with
her as well. You said that everything about your
situation is out on the table, and your family
and friends know everything. You talked about
being motivated because of your past.
47
ObstaclesTom, you said that your main obstacles
to your vision/hope are the bad decisions that
you have made, and you are experiencing a big
bump in the road. You said you realize the
obstacles are inconsistent with your hopes for
your kids.
48
PlanI am hoping that our next step will be to
develop a plan for overcoming obstacles,
maximizing your supports and moving forward in
your vision for your family. Typically what we do
here in our department is have meetings with
people's support networks so the extended family
can come up with a plan to help the kids in a
time of need. You are way ahead already because
you have shared everything with your family and
friends, and everyone knows what is going on.I
look forward to our next meeting on Friday at
900.Sincerely,Beth
49
Usefulness of Letter Writing
  • I could see people thinking that, but I think the
    result of putting the little extra time in that
    was worth it because I didnt have to spend the
    next two months trying to build trust with these
    guys. I did it in one meeting and one letter
    (actually two letters because I wrote one to each
    of them). Far less work if you ask me, however,
    I like to write. I love writing and so if
    writing is a chore to somebody, I could see the
    resistance there to do that if its a lot of
    work. For me, it comes pretty easily and I enjoy
    doing it. But I bet that was worth two months of
    meetings.
  • Really, two months?
  • I do, I do think that, particularly because of
    the history here.

50
Next Steps
  • Safety Network Meeting w/ Great Grandma, Dad,
    Roommate, Friend, Sister, Friend, Friend, and a
    number of neighbors.
  • Beth put up 4 sheets of flip chart paper with
    Vision Obstacles Supports Plan and wrote
    down network thoughts
  • Beth sent write up to everyone in the network
    (with family permission)

51
Helping People Develop a Community of Support for
New Lives
  • It takes a village to raise a new story
  • If identity is created in social action, it is
    important to find an appreciative audience for
    change.
  • Recruiting communities of support can counteract
    the isolating effects of problems and help people
    stay in touch with preferred versions of who they
    are in life.

52
Developing Communities of Support
  • Using re-membering conversations to evoke the
    presence of potential allies.
  • Using reflecting teams or witnessing groups to
    engage actual audiences
  • Using written documents to support witnessing
  • Helping people identify, utilize and sustain
    actual allies in their daily lives.

53
Using Collaborative Helping Maps to Guide
Supervisory Conversations
  • Collaborative Helping maps can also provide a
    useful framework for supervision and consultation
    conversations.

54
Supervision as Inquiry
  • We can think of supervision as an opportunity to
    help workers develop habits of thought that
    enable them to think their way through complex
    situations.
  • The Collaborative Helping Map can provide
    supervisors with questions to accomplish this.

55
Three Stages of Supervisory Conversations
  • Developing a Shared Focus for a Supervisory
    Conversation
  • Content Of a Supervisory Conversation
  • Feedback / Reflection on a Supervisory
    Conversation

56
Questions to Develop a Shared Focus for a
Supervisory Conversation
  • What do you hope to get out of todays
    conversation?
  • What might be getting in the way of you being
    fully present here today?
  • In the midst of everything else going on, how can
    we make this time as useful as possible for you?

57
Content Of Supervisory Conversation
  • Introduction of the Family
  • Agreed Upon Focus
  • Obstacles / Supports
  • Plan What needs to happen next?

58
Questions to Introduce the Family
  • Who is in this family?
  • How do you think they would like you to introduce
    them to us?
  • What do you particularly respect and appreciate
    about them as a family?
  • What do they particularly appreciate about
    working with you?
  • What other concerns would be important for us to
    keep in mind here?

59
Questions to Elicit the Agreed upon Focus
  • In 25 words or less, what might different members
    of this family say their work with you is heading
    towards?
  • What might other helpers involved with the family
    say? What would you say?
  • What similarities and differences do you notice
    in these different descriptions?
  • On a scale of 0-10, how would family members,
    you, and other helpers rate progress towards
    these goals?
  • What similarities and differences do you notice
    in these different descriptions?

60
Questions to Elicit Obstacles / Supports
  • What might different family members and other
    helpers say gets in way of things going better
    towards agreed upon focus?
  • What would you say gets in the way of things
    going better towards agreed upon focus?
  • What similarities and differences do you notice?
  • What might family members and others helpers say
    have contributed to things going as well as they
    have towards agreed upon focus?
  • What would you say has contributed to things
    going as well as they have towards agreed upon
    focus?
  • What similarities and differences do you notice?

61
Questions to Elicit Plan - Next Steps
  • Based on what youve heard yourself saying about
    vision, obstacles, and supports , what do you
    think is the next step to help this family draw
    on supports to address obstacles to live into
    vision?
  • Who will do what, when and with whom?
  • Who else needs to involved?

62
Feedback / Reflection on Supervisory Conversation
  • Plus
  • What well in our meeting today?
  • Delta ?
  • What could we do to improve it next time?

63
Wrap Up
  • FCS represents a shift in how we serve families
  • CH maps help workers think through complex
    problems and provide a structure for honest,
    respectful conversations b/t workers and families
  • Use of CH maps over time promotes a shift in
    relational positioning
  • That shift in relational positioning supports the
    enactment of different life stories and opens up
    new possibilities for families

64
Wrap-Up
  • What from today do you want to remember and carry
    back into your work?
  • What will help you to do that?
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