Nathalie Dekker  Moniqe Croes                                

Nathalie Dekker (NLD) Social Worker, Social Scientist at Trimbos Institue

& Monique Croes (NLD) Psychologist, Social Scientist at Trimbos Institute 

'Solution-Focused Counselling to Obtain a Smokefree Life'


Workshop 2 - 11.00 - 12.30 / Friday June 15th 2018 / Jan Toorop Room     


In 2016 the Trimbos institute started a pilot project with the aim of applying solution focused conversation/counselling for smokers contemplating on a smokefree life. The Trimbos institute disseminates knowledge on several topics such as alcohol, smoking, drugs, gaming and mental health to the general public as well as to (healthcare) professionals. Regarding smoking and smoking cessation, information for smokers on what might be helpful if they decide for a smokefree life is offered by the website ( and the national Quitline, both communicated on all tobacco packages. The Quitline is a free of costs telephone line offering information on several aspects of obtaining a smokefree life and the options for smoking cessation counselling. The line is open on Monday till Friday from 9 am till 5 pm and is communicated on all tobacco packaging in the Netherlands.

One of the options of the Quitline staff is to refer to counselling. The Netherlands have a widespread infrastructure with smoking cessation help. Almost all counselling programs in the Netherlands use motivational interviewing as their core coaching method. This pilot is the first qualitative study on applying solution focused counselling on obtaining a smokefree life. The aim of the pilot is to offer counselling to 20 smokers and to evaluate:

1. participants appreciation of the methodology; 2. or incline in perceived self- efficacy to obtain a smoke free life

3. changes in smoking behaviour; 4. Ammount of sessions; 5. duration of the sessions

In this workshop we would like to share our experiences within the project Solution focused counselling for a smoke free life: 1. The methodological differences in counselling, comparing solution focused counselling with care us usual; 2. The outcomes of our pilot; 3. We will share the challenges we met in developing a solution focused framework related to smoking cessation and obtaining a smoke free life, e.g. the guidelines on treatment of tobacco addiction favour abrupt cessation above reducing tobacco use gradually. This seems contradictory to a solution focused approach. We will share our developmental process.4. We will discuss the specific merits and challenges of counselling by telephone.



  1. The possibilities to apply solution focused counselling for clients striving for a smoke free life
  2. The outline of our counselling sessions
  3. The specific advantages and challenges of applying solution focussed counselling by telephone. 

About Presenter 1

Nathalie Dekker is educated as social worker and social scientist and has always combined these professions at the Trimbos-instituut. At the department Public Information she’s an experienced helpline worker and answered thousands of telephone calls about drugs, alcohol and tobacco. She’s been involved in several studies comparing the effectiveness of telephone and chat help. Currently her focus is on making video’s on substance use, gaming and addiction and on the pilot ‘a solution focused approach of smoking cessation counselling’.
Her main field of interest is making communication about substance use and addiction more attractive and free of judgement, and better accessible and comprehensible for everyone. 


About Presenter   2


Monique Croes studied History and Theory of Psychology and Developmental Psychology. In 2006 she followed courses at Solutions Centre on SFBT and was inspired by this effective and respectful method. Working at the Trimbos institute since 2013, she is responsible for coordination of smoking cessation projects and the smoking cessation care infrastructure. Since a solution focused approach is not commonly used in interventions for a smokefree life, she looked for an opportunity to start a pilot project. In 2016 the Trimbos institute gave permission to start a pilot project. In May 2017 the first results are to be expected.