SFCis questions

Useful questions in Solutions Focused coaching

Problem free talk

What are the things you like doing best?

What are you interested in?

What do you like doing in your free time?

What do you think your friend/family would say are your strengths?

What’s the smallest thing you might do that makes you smile?

What is it about you that makes you good at (…..)?


Preferred future/best hopes

How will you know that it’s been useful coming here today?

How will you know that this meeting has been useful to your teacher/parent/carer/class mates?

How would tell your best friend, parent, carer, teacher, that this meeting’s been useful?

What might it take for you to say that this meeting has been worthwhile?

Imagine a day/class/hour going well for you, when you’re at your best. How will you know that (day) is going well? What will tell you?

What will tell you that you don’t need to come to meet me any more?

If this problem were resolved, what would you notice that’s different in your life?

How will you know that things are going well for you?

What smallest change would be a sign of your moving ahead?

Just imagine that this coaching turns out to be more useful than you imagined. How will you know? What will be different in your life/school?



When are the times that (the problem) doesn’t happen as much?

Tell me about a time when (the problem) happened but didn’t last as long?

When are the times when other people would notice you doing (…) in a good way?

When are the times that you feel that you are achieving more?

When are the times that (the problem) bothers you least?

Tell me about a time when you stayed calm in that difficult situation?


Success history/successful past

Who would be least surprised by this change that you have made?

What have you achieved before that’s similar to this?

Looking back what tells you that you always were capable of doing this?

When was a time in the past, when you have noticed yourself drawing on similar qualities in yourself?

It sounds like you needed to look after yourself from a very early age – when did you first realize you had the strengths to do this?

Stopping things getting worse; when a scaling question gets a low-score response

So what have you been doing to stop things getting even worse?

So how come you aren’t at somewhere even lower on your scale?

You say that things have gone down on the scale. What did you do to stop sliding to one?


Coping – when things seem to be staying the same, week to week

So what’s been helping you to survive?

How come you have not given up hope?

What do you think your friend would most admire about the way that you have been dealing with this?

That situation sounds pretty overwhelming, so how do you get by? How do you cope?

What do you do to get through the day?

What is it that gives you the strength to just get up in the morning?


Locating resources, building on strengths

When you came up against this sort of problem in the past how did you resolve it?

How would you know that you were being successful again?

What other tough situations have you handled in a good way?

What did handling that situation well tell you about yourself?

How do you go about finding solutions to tough situations?

If you heard or read about someone who had been through what you have been through and survived, what do you imagine you would think of her?

What is it about you, that you can do that?

View of self

What does this (achievement) tell you about yourself?

What do you know about yourself now, that you didn’t know last week?

What have you learned from this experience?

What have you learned from this experience that will be useful to you in your future?


Other person perspective

How will your friend/family know that things have improved?

Who will be (the first teacher at school) to notice that things have moved up a bit on your scale?

Who will be the hardest to convince that you mean business this time and what will (s/he) need to see happening? What else? What else?


The ‘What else?’ question

Ask it, and repeat it, whenever you feel it would be useful to build a richer description of strengths, successes, qualities, and hopes.


Scaling questions

Where would you say you are on the scale now?

What was useful to you in keeping at (…) on the scale?

So what is it you are doing that means you are at (5) and not at (1)?

You say you are at (…). What is stopping things getting worse?

What will tell you that you that things are a little bit better? What will you be doing then that you are not doing now? What will be the first sign that things are different?

Where on the scale represents where you hope to get to, what will you be doing then that’s a bit different?

On a scale of 1 -10 with 1 representing no confidence at all that you can reach your goal and 10 meaning that you’re confident that you will get there, where would you say you are now?

On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 representing you knowing that you wouldn’t be prepared to do anything at all to change things and 10 representing you being prepared to do anything it takes, where are you now?

If 1 on this scale means that you always feel worried before doing (………..) and 10 means that you feel completely calm and confident about it, where would you rate yourself at the moment?


Follow-up sessions

What’s going well for you?

What’s been better?

What’s different?

What have you been pleased with?

What’s been telling you that things in school are moving in a good direction for you?

Tell me about the times that you were at (scale point) since we last met?

What would your parent/carer/teacher/friend be noticing about you that’s a bit different this week?