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Renee Hereth

Solution Focused Therapy: Is It Right For Me?

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that has been found to be effective across a vast array of groups and problems. SFBT can be utilized as time-limited, singular therapeutic approach with therapy sessions lasting from two to eight sessions long.
Solution Focused Therapy: Is It Right For Me?

There are many therapeutic interventions and schools of practice, so trying to find out which is best for you can feel extremely overwhelming. Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that has been found to be effective across a vast array of groups and problems. It can not only be used independently, but also combined with other therapeutic interventions!

What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy?

Solution Focused Brief Therapy is, as it sounds, focused on finding solutions for clients to reach their goals. This focus is different than other psychotherapy approaches that focus on problems and the past. 

SFBT utilizes clients’ strengths, current resources, and positive psychology to develop tools and skills to achieve goals. The subject of the goals can differ and may be such actions as changing harmful behavior, manage difficult situations, or completing a task.  SFBT aims to create actionable steps in the present that can be used to improve the client’s life tomorrow and future. 

Who can Solution Focused Therapy help?

Solution Focused Therapy has been studied and found to help individuals, couples, and families. It has also been found to have significant positive effect on people facing an array of challenges including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADD/ADHD, and stress management. 

SFBT can be utilized as time-limited, singular therapeutic approach with therapy sessions lasting from two to eight sessions long. However, SFBT can also be incorporated into other long-term therapeutic modalities as well.

What does Solution Focused Therapy look like?

Therapy and sessions can look differently for each provider and client. There is no official certification required for providers to utilize SFBT. However, in determining whether SFBT is right for you- it’s important to understand what can occur with a therapist in using this approach.

The first expectation can be questions of how you want your future to look. A primary tool in SFBT is the ‘Miracle Question’. An example of a miracle question would be “If you woke up tomorrow and a miracle made your problem disappear, what would your life look like?”. This is used to elicit understanding of differences, goals, and strengths. 

Therapists will also work on ‘Goal Development’ that are future oriented and focused on creating solutions. Goals will be encouraged to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-measured (SMART). 

SFBT aims to identify and strengthen clients’ abilities and resources utilizing such tools as ‘Coping Questions’ I.e. How have you managed to prevent things from getting worse? As well as ‘Scaling Questions’ I.e., on a scale from 10 to 1, 10 being the most confident and 1 being the least confident what number would you label your confidence in reaching your goals?

Finally, therapists will assist in creating actionable steps that empower clients to reach the developed goals. The actionable steps will be reviewed for efficacy until goals are achieved.

Solution Focused Therapy can be right for you if….

  • You want to be an active participant in therapy.
  • You want to be empowered in creating change for your future. 
  • You are comfortable with an optimistic/ positive approach. 
  • You want to set clear, concise, and realistic goals. 
  • You want to take actionable steps to improve your current circumstances. 
  • You do not want to address past experiences or root causes of issues.

Through the principles of SFBT, small actions will lead to significant change as we intentionally focus on solutions, rather then be overwhelmed by our problems. With this, we can overcome what is stopping us from reaching our goals.

How do I find a Solution Focused therapist?

MyWellbeing helps individuals match with the right therapist for them. Click here to get matched to a therapist that practices Solution Focused Brief Therapy. If you're looking for additional resources, check out the following list:

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About the author

Renee Hereth is an Associate Therapist at MyWellbeing. She believes in providing a safe, unbiased, space for you to unpack the weight of life's demands, prioritize your goals, and learn life-long tools to become your most authentic self. Click here to view her profile or book a free consultation with her!

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