• Joanne Bergmann-Goodhall

Modern therapy types - 3 of 3, Solution Focused Therapy

This is also known as solution-focused brief therapy or brief therapy. This is a solution building approach, rather than being problem focused.

As the name does suggest, it's considered a time-limited or short approach, but the techniques can be long lasting in their effect. The key concepts of this approach are:

1) Change is both constant and certain.

2) Clients must want to change.

3) Clients are the experts and outline their own goals.

4) Clients have resources and their own strengths to solve and overcome their problems.

5) Therapy is short-term.

6) Emphasis is on what is changeable and possible.

7) Focus on the future - history is not essential.

It concentrates on the individuals strengths and possabilities to provide a way forward for the client. It works by not directly tackling the problems, but overcoming them by fostering change and developing clear goals. The therapists role is to assist by implementing these as a series of discussions.

The therapist will ask the client to visualize how they see themselves in the future, and how that future can be changed for the better. They may also explore past experiences to help build on this future vision. The therapist can use this to shape the questions and techniques that will be used during these discussions.

There are 3 common approaches:

The Miracle Question

This can encourage people to stop thinking about what they cannot achieve, but instead picture themselves as if the miracle has occurred, and what their lives will look like

Exception questions

These can be used to help clients identify times when things may have been different for them. for example 'Tell me about times when you felt the happiest'

Scaling questions

This involves asking the client to rate the problems from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best). By identifying where the clients lies in their mindset, the therapist can explore where things could change for the client to feel that the needs of therapy have been met.

The solution focused approach is very successful for people who have goal-orientated mindsets, and those who have fast paced lifesytles. On average there is only 5-6 sessions required to bring about positive and lasting change

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