What is Solution focused brief therapy?
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a goal-oriented, brief psychotherapy approach that focuses on finding solutions to the client’s problems rather than dwelling on the problems themselves. It is a collaborative and strength-based therapeutic approach that emphasizes the client’s strengths, resources, and abilities to create positive change in their lives.
SFBT was developed in the 1980s by social workers Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is influenced by systems theory, constructivist philosophy, and the work of Milton Erickson and the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, California.
Key principles of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy include:
Goal-oriented: SFBT focuses on defining clear and specific goals that the client wants to achieve. The therapist helps the client identify their preferred future and explore steps to move toward it.
Solution-focused: Instead of analyzing the problem in depth, SFBT focuses on identifying exceptions to the problem and exploring times when the problem is less intense or not present. This approach helps the client discover their own solutions and strengths.
Brief and time-limited: SFBT is designed to be a short-term therapy approach. The therapist and client work together to achieve change within a limited number of sessions, typically ranging from 3 to 12 sessions.
Collaboration: SFBT emphasizes a collaborative and equal partnership between the therapist and the client. The therapist guides the conversation, asks powerful questions, and helps the client generate ideas and solutions.
Focus on strengths and resources: SFBT assumes that the client possesses strengths, abilities, and resources to overcome their difficulties. The therapist helps the client identify and utilize these strengths to achieve their goals.
Small steps and incremental change: SFBT recognizes that even small changes can lead to significant improvements. The therapist helps the client break down their goals into manageable steps and encourages them to take action.
SFBT can be applied to various areas, including individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and organizational settings. It has been used effectively in diverse contexts such as mental health, addiction, relationship issues, school counseling, and workplace challenges.
Overall, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy offers a practical and positive approach that helps clients focus on solutions, build on their strengths, and create meaningful change in their lives.
Shervan K Shahhian