Recently a course attender asked the question ‘so what do you do when the client’s best hopes are very specific – for example ‘I just want to get over my fear of flying’?
Solution-focused is a future-focused, goal-directed approach to therapy that highlights the importance of searching for solutions rather than focusing on problems (Trepper, Dolan, Mc Collum, & Nelson, 2006; Proudlock & Wellman, 2011).
One of the key questions the therapist asks is called the miracle question: “If a miracle occurred while you were asleep tonight, what changes would you notice in your life tomorrow?
” This opens up your mind to creative thinking and, again, to setting goals and developing a clear plan that will lead to life-changing solutions.
As the answers to these questions gradually unfold both practitioner and client begin to get a picture of where they should be heading.
The clearer this becomes the greater the possibility of it beginning to happen.Individuals learn to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t, which allows them to find solutions and make positive changes more quickly SFBT techniques can be incorporated into other forms of counseling and therapy.Look for a licensed, experienced counselor, social worker, psychotherapist or other mental health professional with training in SFBT.As a counselling approach, solution-focused therapy allows people to adopt different perspectives to look at a specific situation and therefore deepen their understanding of antecedents and consequences (Lam & Yuen, 2008).In other words, it is a strengths-based approach, emphasizing people’s resilience, strengths, and resources people possess and how these can be utilized in the pursuit of goals and the enactment of purposeful positive change (Corcoran & Pillai, 2007; Grant, 2011; 2012).Working from the theory that all individuals are at least somewhat motivated to find solutions, SFBT begins with what the individual is currently doing to initiate behavioral and lifestyle changes.The therapist uses interventions such as specific questioning techniques, 0-10 scales, empathy and compliments that help a person to recognize one’s own virtues, like courage and strength, that have recently gotten the person through hard times and are likely to work well in the future.The Solution Focused approach was developed in America in the 1980s by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.After spending many years studying problem behaviour and trying to change it they switched to studying 'solution behaviour' and how to promote it!These two ideas together make up solution focused brief therapy which widespread research shows to be effective in 65-83% of cases in an average of 4-5 sessions.Four-day foundation course in Solution Focused practice.