Using the miracle question in community engagement and planning

Leslie D. Hollingsworth, Paula Allen-Meares, Trina R. Shanks, Larry M. Gant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Actively engaging community members in the revitalization of their neighborhoods is a goal of numerous planning initiatives. In this article, we provide a case example of how the solution-focused brief therapy's "miracle question" was used to engage members of a major metropolitan community in visualizing their dreams and planning strategies for change. Similar to outcomes with therapy clients, community members participated actively and were enthusiastic in communicating their outcomes. Dreams were realistic and important to participants, and suggested strategies were oriented toward first steps and recognized as involving effort by the community. Engagement and retention were sufficient to move forward with immediate actions and longer-term preparation. Benefits and suggested modifications are offered for community practitioners and researchers employing this method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-335
Number of pages4
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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