Open Mind Therapy – Solution Focus Approaches and Other Training

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    Open Mind Therapy – Training

The full name, including the ‘Therapy’ bit is the registered name of my company.

This site, however, focuses on “Training”, as the header says. 

Please don’t think you have to be a ‘therapist’ or a ‘counsellor’, or a ‘psychologist’, or a ‘psychiatrist’, or a ‘doctor’, a ‘dentist’ or have a degree list as long as your arm to access anything that is on offer on this website. Although, if you are a member of these professions, then you’re very welcome here too. 

I’m a UK Registered Hypnotherapist and a Solution Focus Approaches Practitioner. I work as a counsellor, trainer, coach and mediator.

I have spent the past 30+ years working with all age groups, especially to  help  them to manage all manner of mental health and other issues.

However, as I’ve become older (though I must admit, not necessarily wiser), I truly believe it’s about time to pass on some of my hard-won and, I hope useful, experience, knowledge and such like, all gained over lots of years of working in this particular way – that is, using solution focus approaches.

So, I am now running my own practice down to concentrate on offering more training; utilising my thirty plus years of experience, my teaching experience and,  although I will still do counselling for Change, Birmingham Brief Therapy, and continue with such things as training; mentoring student counsellors; marking and assessing student work at all levels; my renewed focus is going to be on training.

I should also add that I have been connected with Change for a lot of years, indeed I was Chair of the practice when it was a charity (which it still is). Nowadays, it is one of the biggest practices in the UK and regularly outperforms many others in the area. Is that a big enough plug, fellas?

Training with Open Mind Therapy – who’s it for?

For myself, whilst I offer training in ‘purist’ solution focus conversations AND other aspects of the approach, my ethos is to offer this training for those working in the real world;  in the wider social and community areas, where there is a real need for this kind of support – and not simply in the therapy room; although, I would be the first to admit, that individual work MUST continue, where there’s a need for it.

I would like it, therefore, if the work done by those who come along with me, using solution focus as the core approach, could be done by anyone willing to see ‘solution focus conversations’ as a tool of choice for eliciting change in the community;  or multiple social settings, in order to redress the balance such that social justice can come to the fore, rather than being something they do somewhere else, perhaps over there…?

And, believe me, there are no limits to what those communities or groups are, nor what their needs are, after all, we all need access to SOCIAL JUSTICE in this time of “…obscene consumption and squandering of resources (human and otherwise, my addition)…: (Kagan et al, 2011, p56) – full reference at bottom of page.

Some areas you might already work in, or might want to work or volunteer in, in the near future:


  • Community settings and Groups -perhaps you’re involved in work with people from the disabled community, people who are unemployed, the homeless or travelling community, the migrant community, the LGBTQ community, people with addictive behaviours. Generally, we know these groups (and others like them) tend to be the more marginalised communities: people on the fringes, whose voices may not be the loudest. Why not help them to become  heard? Utilising solution focus, in all its manifestations, I can work with you to bring this about, I promise.
  • Educational settings – of all stripes – there is a place for solution focus approaches from nursery to tertiary (university and beyond) with young people of all ages. Oh, and their teachers, TAs, playground assistants, lunch-room staff, volunteers, management and so on ….
  • Secure Settings– prison and remand centres, custody suites, police stations, secure schools, immigration detention centres, probation centres and elsewhere.
  • Health Settings – hospitals, GP surgeries, dental centres, mental health clinics and anywhere else that health is a focus, including outreach work, social care homes …
  • Business settings– companies, shops and offices of all types, comprise people, some or all of whom will have need of support in one form or another; why not ask me to see what can be done? Remember, the better your people feel, the better they will function, for a global good.
  • And so on ……

So, Who might YOU be?

Well, I’d hope you were open to and willing to learn the solution focus approach to help others be the best them they could be? You’ve read this far, so that’s a great start, thank you!

I’m guessing you might already be a counsellor (remember you don’t have to be), or you could be a teacher wanting to enhance your students learning experience, a community worker (or a volunteer), a parent, a TA, a nurse, a doctor, hospital porter. Or, quite possibly a psychologist, a social-worker, someone with an interest in and desire to help others less fortunate than you might be, an ex-prisoner, a school pupil, a Duke of Edinburgh’s candidate looking for community involvement, a company director; or simply a kind and thoughtful human-being who sees, as an aspect of their life, one in which walking alongside those who have somehow become marginalised, for whatever reasons, is likely to be A GOOD THING.

AND, you will be someone who is excited to know that you can help people to change just through utilising the art and magic of words, in particular ways, to help people to become more what they want to be, rather than what they DON’T.

There is no one thing for you to be, no particular level of education you have to have, all I ask is that you want to help others.

There will be lots of information on this site to help you to develop the skills you seek. To find these, use the Navigate bar in the header or the right hand sidebar.


“Critical Community Psychology” (Eds. Kagan, C. Burton, M. Duckett, P. Lawthom, R. Siddiquee, A. 2011)         BPS Blackwell (Wiley), Chichester, UK


You will be able to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on twitter and Facebook, contact me from the Contact page. And book and pay for courses on this site too, in due course.

Please note, links to other sites are provided, both on this page and elsewhere across the site, however, I can take no responsibility for the content of any site you choose to link to.

Navigate the site using menu items in the header or right hand sidebar.

I would draw your attention to the Privacy Notice too, (see Navigation Menu) this outlines our obligations to you under GDPR and what the policy of Open Mind Therapy – Training is, in relation to your personal data.

Thank you

Paul Avard MA



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