solution focused therapy

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists

Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), also called Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, is as the name suggests, future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems bringing patients to seek therapy.

SFT is one of a family of approaches, known as systems therapies, that have been developed over the past 50 years or so, first in the USA, and eventually evolving around the world, including Europe. This approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future.

how does it work?

The therapist uses respectful curiosity to invite the patient to envision their preferred future and then therapist and patient start attending to any moves towards it, whether these are small increments or large changes.

To support this, questions are asked about the patient's story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem. Solution Focused Therapy is founded in the knowledge that change is constant. The therapist helps the patient to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions.

By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapists helps the patient move towards the preferred future they have identified.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - solution focused therapy - SFT

All therapy is a form of specialised conversations. With SFT, the conversation is directed toward developing and achieving the patient's vision of solutions. The following techniques and questions help clarify those solutions and the means of achieving them.

Therapists have learned that most people have previously solved many, many problems and probably have some ideas of how to solve the current problem. To help patients see these potential solutions they may ask, "Are there times when this has been less of a problem?" or "What did you (or others) do that was helpful?"

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - solution focused therapy - SFT

Goal-setting is at the foundation of SFBT; one of the first steps is to identify and clarify your goals. The therapist will begin by questioning what you hope to get out of working with the therapist and how, specifically, your life would change when steps were taken to resolve problems.

By answering these types of questions, you can begin to identify solutions and come up with a plan for change.

It is also known as Brief Solution Focused Therapy or Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, who were influenced by the work of Milton Erickson.

Bill O'Hanlon (who worked closely with Erickson) adopts less structured approaches, which he calls Solution-Oriented Therapy and Possibility Therapy.

Follow Us On Social Media