Solution Focused

Solution Focus Therapy

What Does a Solution Focused Therapist Do?

Most types of psychotherapy involve exploring feelings, being validated, finding explanations, exploring wishes and dreams, setting goals, and gaining clarity. Every therapist has unique ways of working with clients, based on his or her personality, training, and views of how people change. A solution-focused therapist is likely to do the following:


  1. Instead of going over past events and focusing on problems, the therapist helps you envision your future without today’s problems.
  2. During the course of therapy (often as few as 3 to 6 sessions), the therapist helps you discover solutions.
  3. The therapist encourages you to identify and to do more of what is already working.
  4. The therapist guides you to identify what doesn’t work and to focus on doing less of it.
  5. The emphasis is on the future, not the past.
  6. SFBT therapists believe that the client is the best expert about what it takes to change his or her life.
  7. The therapist’s role is to help you identify solutions that will remove the barriers to having the life you want.
Professional therapist listening to the patient and writing notes

What is Solution Focused Therapy?

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a process that helps people change by constructing solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This type of therapy tends to be shorter-term than traditional psychotherapy. 

The SFBT therapist helps the client identify elements of the desired solution, which are usually already present in the client’s life. The client learns to build on these elements, which form the basis for ongoing change. Rather than searching for the causes of the problem, the focus is on defining the changes and making them a reality. The two key therapeutic issues are: (1) how the client wants his or her life to be different, and (2) what it will take to make that happen. Creating a detailed picture of what it will be like when life is better creates a feeling of hope, and this makes the solution seem possible. The therapist helps the client focus on the future and how it will be better when things change. It is important to develop a set of specific, detailed goals. These goals drive the therapy process and keep it focused and efficient.

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