Books / Additional Resources

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Professional Books

Each of the Parents Plus Programmes has an associated book for parents which contains more expanded information. There are also a number of professional books, particularly Solution-Focused Groupwork that describe that therapeutic model underpinning the approach. Purchase at, or

  • solution2JOHN SHARRY

    professionals who use groups to help people. For those new to the approach it provides a clear, step-by-step introduction, while for more experienced practitioners it presents ideas and techniques which can be readily integrated into existing practice.

    John Sharry examines the therapeutic factors which characterize solution focused groupwork and which contribute to its effectiveness. Using carefully selected case studies and examples, he takes the reader through the various stages in the therapeutic process, from getting started to the final session. The book also provides creative exercises for use in practice and guidance on evaluating the outcomes of group work and how to tackle difficulties which arise.

    Solution-Focused Groupwork is ideal for individual study and for use on courses in a wide range of fields, including counselling, social work, therapy and nursing.

    Sage Publications 2008 – 202 pages – – ISBN 978-1412929851


    • ‘A persuasive alternative to traditional methods of group practice…
      obviously written from a real practitioner who understands the process and elements of group work.’

    • ‘Embraces the much deeper philosophical aspects of solution focused work that are relevant for every human group. … Sharry writes extremely well and skillfully interweaves theory and practice.’

    • ‘Enlightening, clearly written, and helpfully presented … The book echoes
      what Solution-Focused Groupwork is all about – being practical and
      optimistic about human potential.’

    • ‘This slim tautly written volume disguises an enormous practical treasure store to help group facilitators. Solution Focused Groupwork should be essential reading.’

    • ‘John Sharry has fluency with language that allows complexity to sit side by side with clarity and ideas to flow across the page. This is a book that must be read by
      anyone interested in front line developments in solution-focused therapy.’

    • ‘Solution-Focused Groupwork picks up where Irvin Yalom’s classic ‘Theory and
      Practice of Group Psychotherapy’ left off. In a thoughtful, step-by-step, and easy-to- read fashion, John Sharry integrates the best from established principles of group therapy with recent advances in brief, strength-based, resiliency-oriented treatment approaches. A must read for practitioners working with groups.’

    • ‘A major contribution to the literature on groupwork.’

  • cousellingJOHN SHARRY

    Counselling Children Adolescents and Families is an excellent textbook for all professionals who are seeking a respectful and effective way of engaging and helping children, adolescents and families. Drawing on the best in recent advances in solution-focused and resilience-oriented models of psychotherapy, the book will outline a collaborative approach to therapeutic work that builds on children and families own strengths and resources and that can establish cooperation in even the most difficult situations.

    Divided into three parts, the book first takes the reader in a clear and straight- forward manner through the background and basic principles of the approach, tackling thorny professional issues such as how and when to use diagnosis. Second, the book outlines creative applications such as groupwork with children and parents, using playful and creative activities and using new but highly effective approaches such as video based feedback. The last section, considers how the strengths-based approach applies to ‘difficult’ contexts such as working with child abuse and suicidal teenagers and children.

    Sage Publications 2004 – 179 pages – – ISBN 9780761949510


    • ‘The case studies are illuminating. The ideas and theories are set out in clear, readable progression. It should change practice. Wonderful.’

    • ‘This is a valuable book, worth attention in every child and family service …
      I recommend this book to anyone who lives or works with families, children
      or teenagers.’

    • ‘Sharry has produced a rich resource from which the reader can consider the  ideas, reflect upon them and integrate them into his/her own practice.’

    • John Sharry’s book is a jewel in the solution focused literature. It is clearly and engagingly written, draws on a host of ideas from different therapeutic approaches and is packed with practical examples. There is no better book on strengths-based therapy with children and adolescents. Every team should have one.’

    • ‘In a clear, engaging, and step-by-step fashion, John Sharry describes how therapists, social workers, and helpers of all stripes, can tap into the many assets and abilities lying in wait in today’s youth. I highly recommend it.’


    Encouraging the reader to become a ‘solution-detective’ and to look for ‘clues’ to success in their own practice, this is a practical and accessible guide for therapists, counsellors and other professionals interested in making their practice solution- focused and effective in a short time frame.

    Drawing on the insights of solution-focused therapy (SFT) and other strengths- based therapies, the book is full of case examples, exercises and role plays, designed to build on your strengths as a practitioner.

    Becoming a Solution Detective is ideal for individual study and for use on courses in a wide range of fields including social work, counselling, therapy, psychology and nursing.

    The three authors co-founded the Brief Therapy Group in Dublin, which is a psychotherapy, training and consultation service and the leading provider of Brief Therapy training and consultation to professionals in Ireland. Within their practice, the authors have designed basic and advanced training courses in solution-focused therapy as well as the format for a professional supervision and consultation group. This book distills the insights of their training approach into an accessible guide to practice.

    Routledge 2012 – 184 pages – – ISBN 978-0-415-89622-1


    • ‘Novices will love this book for its simplicity and straightforwardness. Experienced people will relish the humor and the helpful teaching guides.’

    • ‘Brilliant … well written … crisp and tothe point.’

    • ‘One of the best solution focused practice oriented books on the market.’

    • ‘Will help both beginners and advanced students of solution-based therapies
      master the approach. The perceptive reader will discover many advanced
      concepts presented clearly and simply.’

    • ‘It’s not easy to write a good hands-on book about solution focused brief therapy which is exactly what the authors have managed to do. You will enjoy reading this book very much. It gives you enough ideas about the approach that you can start testing them in your work with clients right away.’



    ‘Clearly and authoritatively written by two experts in the area, clinician’s who work with depressed children and adolescents should routinely recommend that parents read this excellent book’. Professor Alan Carr, University College Dublin
    ‘…a guide for parents, a book long overdue and one which will be of enormous help.’

    ‘The strength of the book lies in it accessible style and numerous practical suggestions.’ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Depression in young people is a difficult problem to deal with. Parents often feel at a loss as to how to help and fear greatly what might happen. This book is written in response to parents’ requests for reading material to help them understand their young person who is suffering from depression, to show them what they can do to help, and to enable them and all the family survive and come through what can be a very difficult situation. The book deals with the special concerns parents often have, including concerns about self-harm, alcohol and drug overuse and suicide, explaining when and how to get professional help and the treatment approaches used.

    Wiley Publications 2004 – 158 pages – – ISBN-13: 978-0470857557


    • ‘The strength of the book lies in it accessible style and numerous practical suggestions.’

    • ‘…a guide for parents, a book long overdue and one which will be of enormous help.’

    • ‘Clearly and authoritatively written by two experts in the area, clinician’s who work with depressed children and adolescents should routinely recommend that parents read this excellent book’.


    This book tells you everything you need to know about anxiety, its many causes and types, and associated disorders such as depression and self-harm. Case-studies help to show the effect of anxiety in real-life situations, and also provide useful tips and advice to help young people manage their symptoms.

    Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2015 – 112 pages – – ISBN: 978-1-84905-557-4


    ‘Found this book really useful. Good selection of case studies and practical suggestions. Parents and carers, as well as front line practitioners will find this book a starting point to understand self harm’. Parent

    An easy-to-read guide for parents, carers and professionals working with young people showing signs of self-harm and suicidal behaviours, which gives advice on how to identify problems and how to support the young person.

    Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012 – 112 pages – – ISBN: 978-0-85700-584-7

  • separated-ed2JOHN SHARRY

    ‘A guide for parents to help them and their children to cope better with separation and divorce’

    Although children can suffer greatly during parental conflict, separation or divorce, there are positive things that parents can do that will reduce the neagtive impact and help your children cope. This booklet is based on research into what makes a difference during a separation and offers practical advice on how you can help yourself and your children.

    Veritas Publications 2014 – 128 pages – – ISBN 1847305733

  • teenagersJOHN SHARRY
    ‘One major strength of JohnSharry’s approach is how he demonstrates how parents can reframe potential conflict situations as opportunities for closer involvement and richer family interactions. A very readable, common-sense user friendly booklet’. The Irish Psychologist

    This book describes a balanced approach to parenting, setting out a step-by-step guide that shows how you can stay supportively involved in your teenager’s life while also being firm. It emphasises a positive approach that builds on your strengths as a parent, helping you not only to solve discipline problems and reduce conflict, but also to have a more satisfying and enjoyable relationship with your teenagers.

    Veritas Publications 2012 – 175 pages – – ISBN 1 85390 557 7

  • positiveParentingJOHN SHARRY

    ‘This book is excellent, and will inspire both parents who are in trouble and also families who are getting along fine but know there are areas they could improve.’ Sunday World ‘An indispensible guide’. The Irish Times

    ‘A good guide for this tricky stage’. The Sun

    ‘Positive Parenting’ aims to help parents raise emotionally secure, happy children who reach their full potential at home and at school. Targeted at parents of primary school age children, ‘Positive Parenting’ provides a step-by-step guide to solving behaviour and other childhood problems including sibling rivalry, homework hassles, serious tantrums, bullying, poor self-esteem and anxiety.

    Veritas Publications 2008 – 178 pages – – ISBN 9781847300775


    • ‘This book is excellent, and will inspire both parents who are in trouble and also families who are getting along fine but know there are areas they could improve.’


    Light of touch, inviting to the (surely busy and distracted) readers, and decorated with amusing cartoons
    that add ideas… A good gift for young parents facing the challenge of those vital years’. Books Ireland

    In ‘Parenting Preschoolers and Young Children’ you will find practical advice on how to deal with the very real difficulties of caring for young children. As well as offering helpful tips on how to stimulate a child intellectually in terms of improved concentration and language development, it also offers sound advice on handling behavioural problems like temper tantrums and co-operation issues. Emphasising an approach to parenthood that praises rather than chides ‘Parenting Preschoolers and Young Children’ is an accessible and indispensable guide for those dealing with young children.

    Veritas Publications 2005 – 128 pages – – ISBN 978 1853909153