Solution-Focused Therapy

Solution-Focused Therapy, also known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) or brief therapy, is a type of treatment that concentrates more on finding solutions than discussing the problem. Unlike traditional forms of psychotherapy that analyze issues based on history, SFBT looks at solutions in the present time and explores ideas that will help to resolve the problems in the future. It is a goal-oriented therapy that is founded on the premise that everyone has a goal in life, and we all know exactly what we need to do to achieve it. Let’s delve deep into the topic and learn more about solution-focused therapy.

What is Solution-Focused Therapy?

The idea behind SFBT is that finding solutions to problems is far more important than analyzing the details of the issues. SFBT will not explore your childhood experiences to discover their contribution to your present problems. It does not dwell on the myriad of factors that have brought you to seek therapeutic help. Instead, solution-focused brief therapy sessions are rooted firmly in the present situation while seeking solutions to improve your future life.

Solution-based therapy was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the early 1980s. The developers realized that other forms of treatment were unnecessarily long since they dwelled much on discussing symptoms, problems, and issues. The solution-centric form of therapy developed by De Shazer and Berg promised to bring an end to this by making treatment specific, quick, and problem-solving.

SFBT is committed to finding and implementing solutions to your problem as soon as possible. This is connoted by the term “Brief” in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. As a brief therapy, it will minimize the time you spend suffering or struggling as well as reduce the time you spend in treatment.

When is it used?

You can explore Solution-Focused Therapy if you already have an idea of possible solutions to the challenges you are going through. In the treatment, you are considered as the “expert” in your issues. By encouraging you to envision the change you would like, your therapist will help you find solutions to your problem and then work together with you to outline necessary steps to solve it. Since solution-based therapy works by identifying solutions rather than discussing issues, it is useful for treating specific concerns and not others.

Solution-focused brief therapy has proven as an effective treatment for individuals, couples, and families. Besides that, solution-based therapy has expanded its scope in addressing challenges in other areas of life, such as workplace and schools. It has been used successfully in individuals of all ages and different backgrounds and cultures.

For youths experiencing academic/school-related issues as well as behavioral concerns, SFBT can be an effective intervention. You might want to consider SFBT if you are seeking couple’s counseling or family therapy. Solution-based therapy is, however, used together with other therapeutic approaches. Because solution-based treatment focuses on the individual finding solutions to their problems, it is not recommended for people experiencing severe mental illnesses. If you are seeking mental health services, you may request a recommendation from your regular healthcare provider.

How Does it Work?

Solution-Focused therapy can effectively treat your relationship problems, child or domestic abuse, addiction, family dysfunction, or child behavior problems. Although not a treatment option for psychiatric disorders, brief therapy may help to improve the quality of life for those seeking mental health services for conditions such as schizophrenia and depression.

SFBT works by helping you identify and develop skills that will enable you to create change in your life. It is grounded on the belief that you already know what change you need in your life to do away with the problem. As such, your practitioner will help you get clarity of your goals and then develop steps towards achieving these goals.

As your therapeutic sessions begin, you will be required to find a vision for your future. You also need to find out how your internal strengths can be explored to bring about the desired outcomes. Your solution-focused therapist will guide you through the process of developing strategies that work for you, walk you through the journey of practicing these strategies, and stay present in acknowledging and celebrating your success.

SFBT for Addiction

Solution-focused brief therapy is one of the substance abuse mental health services. It is considered as a short-term and highly congruent within positive psychology, instilling hope, enhancing positive feelings, and building strengths on individuals and families struggling with substance abuse disorders. What makes brief therapy so useful for those dealing with substance abuse is that it does not burden them with the task of figuring out where the problem began, and instead gives them hope of a possible solution. There are specific solution-based interventions when it comes to substance abuse. They include:

  • Goal negotiation: When exploring the motivation behind drug abuse, the brief therapist asks you “the good reasons” for using drugs. For instance, they will ask “how do drugs help you?” and not “why do you use the drugs?” With this strategy, the person identifies the benefits of the drugs and in the long run, acknowledges that drugs are not helpful.
  • Bringing Hope: Solution therapy seeks to give patients hope for a better tomorrow. As they develop a solution package for themselves, they can envision themselves moving from desperation to going back to their families, enrolling back to school, restoring their marriages, getting a job and making a reputation in the community.
  • Complimenting: Complimenting the determination, perseverance, and strength of the patient is one of the strongholds in brief therapy. Compliments reenergize the individual enabling them to hold on to the end of the treatment when they are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
  • Building on Strengths: Focusing on strengths is crucial for patients dealing with substance abuse disorders. In brief therapy, the patient is encouraged to explore the areas they are best at and to build on them so that they can overcome their addiction.

Solution-Focused Therapy is just one of the treatment services we offer as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Call today for a free assessment and to find out how Overland IOP can help you break the cycle of mental health disorders and addiction.