Short-Term Problem Solving / Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Therapy doesn't have to take years.

Colleagues Working Together

Together, we will identify what's going right in your life (instead of wrong) and apply coping strategies that worked for you in the past, to help you solve problems in the present and plan for the future.

 

Clients can see results in as little as 8-12 sessions.

What is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy?

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is used for finding solutions to problems rather than determining the “why” a problem is happening. Although it acknowledges present problems and past causes, the main focus is on an individual's current resources and future hopes.

 

Widely recognized over the past decades as an effective short-term therapeutic approach it offers an alternative to problem-focused approaches more typical of traditional therapy. Solution-focused methods highlight what is working in people’s lives rather than emphasizing their weaknesses & limitations.

​Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Principles

There are Always Exceptions to the Problem

You have countless existing strengths & problem-solving skills and are mostly managing your life quite well without therapy!  To solve problems, we’ll identify how you solved or managed similar situations in the past called “exceptions” and build on them, “amplifying” them so that change can happen.

Small Changes Can Lead to Big Results

Frequently, a small change is all that’s needed to resolve a big problem because small changes result in a snowball effect leading to bigger changes and ultimately the resolution of the problem. This principle applies to human relationships as well. Systems theory tell us that a small change in one part of a system often leads to changes in other parts of the system. So, if you do something a little different in your interactions, then it is likely that your partner or family will respond differently. 

Many Roads Lead to Solutions

It’s not necessary to know the full cause of a problem in order to solve it. Since we can’t ever truly know the ultimate cause of some problems (because humans are so complex and relationships so fluid) a general principle in solution-focused counseling is to find out what works and then do more of the same.  Solution-focused counseling encourages people to set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-measured. Together we’ll create and commit to time-limited goals and keep our focus on them throughout. 

Change Can Happen Suddenly​

In contrast to the commonly held view that change must be a slow, difficult process, many people experience significant improvements suddenly and in a brief period of time. Solution-focused counseling holds that people possess coping skills (i.e., exceptions) that play a critical role in resolving problems. If these exceptions are identified and amplified, then marked shifts can occur. 

What Does the Research Say About Solution-Focused Brief Therapy ?

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is one of the few approaches in psychotherapy (with over 150 randomized clinical trials) that began as evidence-based in contrast to most other models that are typically theory-driven. SFBT developers spent countless hours carefully observing real-life therapy sessions, meticulously noting any words or behavior on the part of the therapist that resulted in progress towards the client’s stated goal. And then language or behavior that reliably led to positive movement in the direction of the client’s goal was preserved and incorporated into the Solution-Focused approach while those that did not were discarded.​

What do I need to do now?

Get in touch and we’ll see if we’re a good fit.  Together, we'll create a plan with concrete strategies to help you feel better and create a more beautiful life (and it won’t take years!)


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