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What Is Solution Focused Therapy?

September 3, 2021 5:08 am


You may have heard recently of solution focused therapy and be wondering what it is. I will help by explaining a bit of the background of its development and what it involves.

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Solution Focused Therapy started in the USA by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the 1980s, with their team at the Brief Family Center.

The seven key concepts of solution focused therapy are:

  1. Change is a continuous process and unavoidable.
  2. Clients have to want to change.
  3. Clients should decide their own goals.
  4. Clients use their own strengths to overcome their difficulties.
  5. Therapy is only short-term.
  6. Things that can change and that are possible are emphasised
  7. Focused on the future rather than the past

Solution focused therapy is all about looking at the client’s strengths and what they can do in order to move forward.

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There are various questioning techniques involved that encourage the client to think outside of their habitual thinking pattern. Some examples of different questions are the miracle question. This is where the client is told to stop focusing on why they cannot achieve what they want, and to instead imagine what their future would look like if a miracle occurred.

Another example are exception questions which helps the client think about times the problem they are currently facing wasn’t so much of an issue. An example of such a question would be, ‘Can you think of times when the problem was not present in your life?’

If after reading this you decide that this is a type of therapy you are interested in learning, visit https://www.brief.org.uk/therapy-and-coaching/what-happens-in-solution-focused-counselling for more information.

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