20 – 22  Sept. 2019, Florence, ITALY

As If

EBTA Conference

As If

If there was no “if”, There’d be no “stiff”; He wouldn’t be stuck With just bad luck. (Steve De Shazer)

According to the modern conception of psychotherapy, the therapeutic change has to go hand in hand with the change in the client’s worldview. In the cognitive therapy, for instance, this “change” would be due to a restructuring of the person’s thinking. However, William James, over a hundred years ago, explained in his theory of emotions (1890) that is in fact the behavior to cause the corresponding emotion and not the “thinking about that emotion”. We do not laugh because we’re happy – we are happy because we laugh. As he said: ” If you want a quality, act as if you already have it”. De Shazer (1988) spoke about this when he urged therapists to observe, rather than to remain trapped in the prejudices of their own thought. “Imagine as if the situation was different and your problem disappeared …”, it is stated in the “Miracle Question”, which becomes a sound and factual action. In his “Philosophy of as if” Hans Vaihinger (1911) gives us a description through a lot of examples taken from the most various realms of life. Therefore, the solution focused therapist is a facilitator of the “as if” concept in therapy, inducing the person to gain a more elastic view about reality and to act differently from what done earlier. It is about changing the actions that then modify the perceptions, which transform the thoughts and not vice-versa. This is a relevant aspect, taking into account that change takes place “here and now”, toward the future. Just as in the first aesthetic imperative Von Foerster states “if you want to see, learn to act”, so himself (1973) advises us to “always act so as to increase the number of choices.”

Andrea Leonardi

250 Participants

Psychologists, counselors, coaches, social workers from all over Europe will meet in Florence to share Solution Focused knowledge and experience.

51 Programs

Many different speeches, including educational, clinics and training proposals.

65 Speakers

Experts and prominent figures in the Solution Focused Brief Therapy will talk about therapy, research and training.


Dear friends, it is a great pleasure for us to invite you to the EBTA conference 2019, which will be held in our beautiful city. In these years, in Italy through the Fondazione Franceschi Onlus we have promoted various initiatives for the dissemination of the solution focused concepts: we have organized conferences and seminars, we have published books and articles. For this reason, it is an honor for us to host the international solution focused community, which for the first time meets here in Italy. The Solution Focused Brief Therapy has indeed a long history, but never before it had landed in our country. This is an opportunity to fill the void and try to continue together in spreading this fascinating approach, which concretely helps people and organizations to achieve personal and social harmony. All this thanks also to you that you will participate in many of this true miracle achieved, making it even more beautiful and shared. So, we look forward to seeing you in Florence with new and beautiful ideas to present and spread! See you soon! Andrea, Sonia, Gianluca


08.00 – Registration Desk


09.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Opening of Works – Round Table: “To Construct Psychotherapies”

By Andrea Leonardi, Marie-Christine Cabié, Giorgio Nardone, Ferdinand Wolf, Jacek Lelonkiewicz, Francesco Velicogna
10.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Therapy as performance

By Giorgio Nardone
Introduction by Andrea Leonardi
10.45 – Loggiato

Coffe break

11.15 – Sala Pontevecchio

EBTA Award for Excellence in Solution Focused Practice

The Organizing Team of the EBTA Conference will give the award.
11.30 – Sala Pontevecchio

HOPE – Walking and Talking in different perspectives

By Manfred Vogt and Herbert E. Förster

Lunch Break

In the surroundings of the Convitto della Calza you will find many restaurants, trattorias and bars where you can have a good lunch. Use the map in your program to find them easily.
14.00 – Sala Bargello

“What’s better?” “Better?!? It’s worse!”

By Geert Lefevere and Tomasz Switek
14.00 – Sala Santa Croce

Resource game

By Jos Kienhuis
14.00 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

Connecting the Isolated: a Conceptual Framework. Strengthening family connections after parental separation

By Davide Di Pietro
14.00 – Sala Michelangelo

Coaching… what if I need to do something else?

By Paut Kromkamp
14.00 – Sala Pitti

Beyond language – what about “the human being as a whole” in the solution-focused practice?

By Ursula Bühlmann-Stähli
14.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Getting the best out of your mentor

By John Wheeler
14.45 – Sala Bargello

Supervision in action – conceptional cubes for supervision

By Jacek Lelonkiewicz and Manfred Vogt
14.45 – Sala Santa Croce

As if Symptoms have hopes too?

By Antonio Amatulli
14.45 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

“What if there is no as if?” Small miracles working with refugees in Greece

By Ilektra Bethymouti
14.45 – Sala Michelangelo

JUST-SF: Un-learning and un-teaching ourselves to stay succinct and simple

By A. Biba Rebolj
14.45 – Sala Pontevecchio

Workplace Mobbing: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

By Svetlana Mаnukhina
15.30 – Loggiato

Coffee Break

16.00 – Sala Bargello

Acting as if… creating new realities!

By Barbara Pelkmann and Nadine Lyamouri-Bajja
16.00 – Sala Santa Croce

Family coaching and the “As if” Philosophy

By Natalia Manukhina
16.00 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

“As If” Techniques for therapists for getting unstuck

By Alexey Mikhalsky
16.00 – Sala Michelangelo

As if emotions mattered…

By Jacek Szczepkowski and Artur Lewiński
16.00 – Sala Pitti

As if we had solutions to elderly care

By Heli Makkonen and Marita Halonen
16.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Joining Clients Navigating Grief: putting Solution-Focused principles to work

By Stephen Langer
16.45 – Sala Bargello

How to reduce complexity in psychotherapy: integrating the 9 Logics beneath Brief Therapy interventions

By Flavio Cannistrà
16.45 – Sala Santa Croce

Prolegomena to an Organisational Psycholùogy and Pragmatics of Human Communication: a re-interpretation of the five axioms

By Francesco Zurlo
16.45 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

Solution Focused Narrative Therapy

By Linda Metcalf
16.45 – Sala Michelangelo

Bright Thinking. A resilient thinking program for children

By Lyn Worsley and Megan Webster
16.45 – Sala Pitti

Towards a critical solution-focused practice

By Guy Shennan and Jonas Wells
16.45 – Sala Pontevecchio

“As if”: from systemic perspective to the theory of cognitive dissonance. Theoretical and clinical involvements for SFBT

By Fabio Leonardi and Filippo Petruccelli


17.45 – Sala Pontevecchio

MAM – Members Annual Meeting

By EBTA board
The Members’ Annual Meeting makes the general decisions about the purpose and the goals of EBTA. This includes but is not limited to issues to do with finances, changes in the statutes, elections of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, all other board members and appointment of the auditor.

09.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

The time on riverside

By Andrea Leonardi
10.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Presentation of the book As If

10.20 – Sala Pontevecchio

Introduction to the Open Spaces

The Team will organize the open spaces with the participants.
10.30 – Sala Pontevecchio

EBTA-Award for Distinguished Contributions to Solution Focused Thinking

The EBTA Board will give the award.
10.45 – Loggiato

Coffee Break

11.00 – Sala Michelangelo

EBTA Board meeting

Meeting only for the members of the EBTA Board.
11.15 – Sala Pontevecchio

Future Play: Experiencing the Future Now! with Children and Families

By Pamela King

Lunch Break

In the surroundings of the Convitto della Calza you will find many restaurants, trattorias and bars where you can have a good lunch. Use the map in your program to find them easily.
14.00 – Sala Bargello

Solution Focus in every(day) interaction – Experiences from two years with SF on Tour!

By Elfie Czerny and Dominik Godat
14.00 – Sala Santa Croce

Dialogic Intelligence: Navigating from the movement in As If to the moments of As Is

By Haesun Moon
14.00 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

Black Box Technique – SF work with decision making problems

By Mariola Lelonkiewicz and Jacek Lelonkiewicz
14.00 – Sala Michelangelo

As if… there is no therapist. A solution focused parent support group

By Anne Braamse
14.00 – Sala Pitti

10 years of the Computerized Solution-Focused Self-Help Program development: demonstration and outcome results

By Rytis Pakrosnis and Viktorija Čepukienė
14.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Opening to imagination?

By Riitta Malkamäki
14.45 – Sala Bargello

That symmetry between problem and solution!

By Bernardo Paoli
14.45 – Sala Santa Croce

Solution Focused Play Therapy with children and adolescents

By Elizabeth Taylor
14.45 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

The Resilience Doughnut. Connecting strengths to thrive

By Lyn Worsley
14.45 – Sala Michelangelo

SYPRENE, a Systemic Practice Research Network to improve practice

By Grégoire Vitry and Olivier Gabriel Brosseau
14.45 – Sala Pitti

AS without IF – Mind the Gap

By Matthias Schwab
14.45 – Sala Pontevecchio

SF rehabilitation work with burnout of civil and human rights activists, journalists and helpers of nonprofit organizations

By Dmitry Stebakov, Olga Khokhlova and Irina Kosterina
14.45 – Sala Franciabigio

On the surface but not superficial – meaning in Solution Focused Practice

By Kirsten Dierolf
15.30 – Loggiato

Coffee break

16.00 – Sala Bargello

“As If”-descriptions

By Anne-Marie Wulf and Karin Pharés
16.00 – Sala Santa Croce

Solution-focused intervision: how to create a resource space for professionals

By Evgeniya Kuminskaya
16.00 – Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo

What if … SF creative connectedness can open minds and touch hearts?

By Ella de Jong
16.00 – Sala Michelangelo

Solution-Focused Group Counseling program, for adolescents living in child protection centers. What remains after all?(An unofficial follow-up after 3 years)

By Eugenia Savvidou
16.00 – Sala Pitti

Solution-Focused Wellness: an evidence-based approach to lifestyle change

By James Beauchemin
16.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Solution focused brief therapy approach to domestic violence in Koivula Domestic Violence Support Service

By Maria Alaoja and Kati Aitkoski
16.00 – Sala Franciabigio

Problematic Gaming and Internet habits: a Solution Focused Approach

By Sebastien Vernieuwe
16.45 – Sala Bargello, Sala Santa Croce, Sala Cardinale Mistrangelo, Sala Michelangelo, Sala Pitti, Sala Pontevecchio, Sala Franciabigio, Loggiato

Open Spaces

By All of You
All rooms will be available to create discussion groups on Solution Focused topics.

The EBTA Practice Definition Task Group, wishes to offer you an interesting food for thought: the Practice Definition Task Group theory paper.
If you are curious to discover this paper and if you want to discuss during the Open Spaces of any of the topics it covers, click here.



17.30 – Sala del Franciabigio

Guided tour of the Cenacle of Franciabigio

By a professional tour guide
For art lovers,
it will be possible to admire the Renaissance cloister and the Last Supper painted by Franciabigio in 1514.
Visit by reservation for 2 groups of 30 people each.
17.45 – Sala Michelangelo

International cooperation task group meeting

Meeting only for the members of the international cooperation task group
20.00 – Loggiato

Conference Gala Dinner

09.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

The value of interview microanalysis

By Marie-Christine Cabié
10.00 – Loggiato

Coffee Break

10.30 – Sala Pontevecchio

Co-constructing the vision of Solution-Focused Group-Work: how would we like it to look like?

By Yaron Yagil and Shulamit Geller
11.30 – Sala Pontevecchio

A SF postcard from Florence

By Marco Matera
12.00 – Sala Pontevecchio

Presentation of EBTA Conference 2020

By the Italian and Danish Organizing teams
12.15 – Sala Pontevecchio

Closing remarks and greetings

By All of Us

Solution Focused supervision

Post Conference Workshop by John Wheeler

Sunday 22 September 2019, from 15:00 to 19:00, Sala Pitti


Solution Focused supervision might be a conversation in which the supervisor helps the supervisee to practice SF well by drawing on the expert knowledge of the supervisor. When SF assumptions are transferred from practice to supervision, however, the typical power dynamics of professional supervision are radically changed, placing the supervisee much more in the driving seat of their practice. John has been developing his application of SF assumptions and questioning for 30 years with Social Work trainees and Family Therapy trainees on placement, groups of school counselors and a variety of professionals who wanted to know more about SF Practice or had heard about his approach to supervision by word of mouth. The workshop will include demonstrations, opportunities to practice and maps for supervision John has drawn on including 10 good reasons for Solution Focused Supervision, Multiple levels of Influence in SF supervision and Three simple options for the SF supervisor.


John Wheeler

UKCP Registered Systemic Psychotherapist

Full member of Solution Focus in Organisations

Professionally qualified Social Worker and Practice Teacher

Managing Director of Solution Focused Trainers delivering externally validated training in SF Practice throughout the UK

Member of the Board for EBTA

Past President of IASTI, the International Alliance for SF Training Institutes

Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Past editor of Solution Focused Research Review.

Author of over 35 articles and book chapters


  • The EBTA Conference 2019 in Florence

  • The Conference Gala Dinner on 21 September 2019

  • The Post-conference Workshop on 22 September 2019


Standard Registration Fee: 350 € – Standard registration fee ended 31 August 2019.

Late Registration Fee: 400 €

Do you want to renew your EBTA membership for 2019? Select the option in the registration form.

The Fondazione Franceschi Onlus offers 20 % discount on the conference fee to students. For more information click here.

The period for sending scholarship application ended on 31 May 2019.

General Terms: All prices are subject to change should the organization require this. Registered people with payments already made are excluded from such changes. By booking a ticket you also agree to the terms and conditions and the code of conduct.

Register for EBTA 2019 Florence

Conference Entrance

From: 400.00

EBTA membership – 2019

93 available

Conference Gala Dinner

93 available

Post Conference with John Wheeler

93 available

93 available

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The period for sending the presentation proposals ended on 1 June 2019.

Remember that to be speakers at the conference registration is required.


Convitto della Calza

Piazza della Calza, 6 50125, Florence
Tel: +39 055 222287 Fax: +39 055 223912
Website: https://www.calza.it/en Email: calza@calza.it


Dear friends,
below we suggest some hotels near the venue of the EBTA Conference 2019.
When booking, mention that you are attending the conference, so you can take advantage of a small discount.

Please note that the September is considered high season here in Florence, so book your accommodation in advance.


If you would like to support EBTA Conference 2019, please contact us at info@ebta2019florence.org

Thank you in advance.


The Fondazione Franceschi Onlus offers to students a 20% discount on the conference fee.

To obtain it, before registration please contact us at info@ebta2019florence.org or through the contact form and submit a student validation.

We will send you a coupon to be included in the registration form.


The period for sending scholarship application ended on 31 May 2019


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