Also known as solution-focused brief therapy or brief therapy, solution-focused therapy is an approach to therapy based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. Although it does acknowledge present problems and past causes, it mostly focuses on exploring your current resources and future hopes.
As its name suggests, solution-focused therapy is considered to be a time-limited approach, with an average of five sessions, however, it can be incorporated into other longer-term therapies.
The key concepts in the solution-focused approach are that:
- Change is both constant and certain.
- Clients must want to change.
- Clients are the experts and outline their own goals.
- Clients have resources and their strengths to solve and overcome their problems.
- Therapy is short-term.
- Emphasis is on what is changeable and possible.
- Focus on the future – history is not essential.
Rather than dwelling on an individual’s weaknesses and limitations, solution-focused therapy concentrates solely on an individual’s strengths and possibilities to help them move forward. It works by helping them overcome problems without tackling them directly – using the solution-building concept to foster change and help individuals to develop a set of clear, concise, and realistic goals.
The solution-focused approach involves a variety of techniques to clarify solutions and help the person seeking help find ways of achieving them. These are generally a set of questions tailored to the individual and their specific circumstances.
Solution-focused therapy can help a vast array of people, including individuals, couples, families, and children. It works very effectively for those who are keen to embrace change and those who have a goal-orientated mindset, as they are more responsive to therapy techniques.
The approach is versatile and can help with communication difficulties, stress, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, behavioural problems, eating disorders, and relationship difficulties, along with many other issues.