SOLUTION FOCUSED THERAPY

Where are you; where would you like to be / You can't fix a problem from the same mindset that created it / What's right with you is much more important than what's wrong with you / The future determines the present much more than the past.

 

Solution Focused Therapy is a relatively new approach to problem resolution and positive change, often helping clients achieve their goals in a short period of time.

 

Rather than focusing on what the problem is and where it came from, Solution Focused Therapy focuses on the future and what we will be doing when the problem is gone. There is little attempt to look at the past, to understand problems, or to explain how the client got where they are today; reflecting one of the approaches key assumptions, that solutions do not necessarily have anything to do with problems.

 

The methodology draws implicitly on 2500 years of knowledge; from The Buddha to Ludwig Wittgenstein, explicitly on the individual and group work of Milton Erickson and John Weakland, and specifically on the work of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve De Shazer, at the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

If it doesn't work, stop doing it.

If it does work, do more of it.

If it's not broken, don't fix it.

Solution Focused Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach based on ‘solution-building’, as opposed to ‘problem-solving’. In this respect, it departs from the traditional psychotherapeutic assumption that a detailed understanding of the presenting problem; its formation, maintenance and resolution, is necessary for therapeutic change to take place. Rather, Solution Focused Therapy is a future-focused, goal-orientated approach, which focuses on exceptions (examples of when the ‘problem’ is not experienced), solutions (descriptions of what life will be like when the problem is gone) and the construction of scales to measure the client’s progress towards their solution.

The process is entirely client-centred in that what is spoken about in the session (and equally what is not spoken about) is determined by the client, with the therapist recognising that the client is the expert in their own life, hopes and goals, and the therapists job is simply to help the client build their solution, rather than forcing them to demolish a problem.

The approach is consensual, pragmatic and, often, surprisingly brief.  To discuss setting up a session with Steve, contact him here.

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​© 2019 by Dr Steve Smith.

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