Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
San Jose Counseling and Psychotherapy
Solution-focused therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that helps people to improve their lives by creating solutions.
This type of psychotherapy is typically for a shorter period of time than other types of therapy. It is also referred to as solution-focused brief or brief therapies.
Solution-focused therapy is a psychotherapy approach that generally lasts between 4 to 12 sessions and tends to be future and goal oriented.
Finding Solutions in Psychotherapy
Solution-focused therapy is designed on four stages; 1) creating awareness through education, 2) developing and implementing strategies for change, 3) emphasizing the positive, and 4) rehearsing new skills.
The therapist helps the client identify elements of the desired solution, which are usually already present in the client’s life. The client learns to build on these elements, which form the basis for ongoing change.
Creating a detailed picture of what it will be like when life is better creates a feeling of hope, and this makes the solution seem possible. The therapist assists the client in focusing on the future and how it will be better when things change.
Problems That Solution-Focused Therapy Addresses
Solution-focused therapy is an effective way of helping people solve many kinds of problems, including anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, and relationship issues.
Since it focuses on the process of change rather than on dissecting the problem, more serious issues do not necessarily require different treatment. The psychotherapist helps the client to change problems into goals and create an action plan for achieving them.
The Solution-Focused Therapist
Rather than searching for the causes of the problem, the focus is on defining the changes and making them a reality.
The two key therapeutic issues are: 1) how the client wants his or her life to be different, and 2) what it will take to make it happen. A solution-focused therapist will typically do the following:
- Instead of going over past events and focusing on problems, the therapist assists the client in seeing a future without the same problems.
- Therapy is focused on helping the client to develop solutions.
- The therapist encourages the identification of what is already working.
- The therapist guides the client in seeing what is working and what isn’t.
- The emphasis is on the present, as opposed to the past.
- The client is the expert of their own life and about how to change it.
- The therapist’s main function is to help the client to find solutions.
Psychotherapists who use solution-focused therapy never try to limit the number of sessions. Instead, the goal is help the client to establish goals and develop strategies. By focusing on the client’s goals and not the problem, it typically takes less time than traditional therapy.
In solution-focused therapy, the therapist aims to provide clients with the most effective treatment in the most efficient way possible so that clients can achieve their goals and get on with their lives. Because of this approach, the psychotherapy process can occur over as few as four sessions.