Solution-Focused Therapy

Recovery is possible

What is Solution-Focused Therapy?

Many individuals think that counselling is focusing on the problems of life and trying to create distance from them. In Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) the client is invited to concentrate on finding solutions in the present and explore hope for the future.  Milwaukee psychotherapists Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg developed SFT in the late 1970s.  These psychotherapists wanted the individual to be seen as the expert of their own lives and with coaching and questioning the individual can find their own solutions. The individual has an opportunity to envision a future without the problem.  For many clients, it can be more helpful to find solutions rather than to analyze the problem over and over.

Solution-Focused Therapy is used to treat people of all ages and can be helpful with addiction concerns, relationship problems, depression, eating disorders, and anger management.  Empathy is a main component of SFT in that a client needs to feel heard and understood by their therapist.

When working with the therapist the individual would be invited to focus on goal setting and explore how life might be different if steps were taken to resolve the issues.  One of the key questions in Solution-Focused Therapy is “If a miracle occurred while you were asleep tonight, what changes would you notice in your life tomorrow?”.  The client then has an opportunity to think “outside the box” of their problem and consider the solution.  The focus is on the individual thinking about what they “can do” rather than on what they “can’t do”.  This strength-based perspective allows clients to have insight into their own abilities which will increase self-esteem.

I know I still have to work on my recovery for the rest of my life but just with how good things are now and how bad things were why the hell would I ever want to go back to that! I’m feeling very confident in continuing my recovery strongly and that I have the tools in my belt to deal with any curve balls that life may throw at me.

– Johnny M, CHRC Alumnus

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