Solution Focused Brief Therapy

January 7, 2010

Welcome & Introduction

Filed under: A. Welcome & Introduction — solutiontherapy @ 11:59 am

Welcome to Solution Focused Brief Therapy for ARP660 & RHAB5720 Theory and Practice of Counseling.

We hope you enjoy our presentation, and look forward to your comments and feedback.

 

 

§ Preamble

Imagine you are caught in a pouring rain. You are getting wet and decide to go to a rain gear store to purchase something to keep you dry. A store clerk greets you, and starts to ask you many questions: “How wet are you? For how long have you been in the rain? Have you been in this kind of rain before? Have you dreamed about getting wet in the rain in the past? What role did getting wet in the rain play with your family or with your loved ones? What disadvantage or advantage does getting wet in the rain have for you?” After answering all of the questions, you are still wet and getting cold.  You ask if you can now buy some sort of rain gear. However, the store clerk wants you to complete some more questionnaires about getting wet in the rain and perhaps about other issues that the store clerk deems important. Once everything is completed, the store clerk brings you a poncho that you do not care for. 

The clerk claims that it is the best for you and that it has helped other customers in the rain. Will you take the poncho and leave the store happily ever after?

What would you rather have instead?

 

The trend within psychotherapy depicts an evolution from lengthy to brief forms of treatment, and from cure to prevention. The focus shifts from mental illness to mental health. (Bannink, 2007). We would like to introduce you to a postmodern psychotherapy known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

*Watch “Solution Focused coaching in one minute” from YouTube.

 

§ Description and Overview

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), as the name suggests, is a future-oriented, goal-directed, solution-focused, brief, and client-therapist collaborated therapy approach.  This differs from the traditional lengthy problem-oriented psychotherapy. SFBT, a postmodern therapy, declares a trend “away from explanations, problems, and pathology, and toward solutions, competence, and capabilities.” (Egan, 2007).

The key concepts of SFBT consist of the following major shifts to depart from traditional psychotherapy that sought after constructing solutions from problem descriptions and speculating on causality. SFBT approaches completely reverse the interview process by initiating the interview of asking clients to describe a detailed resolution to the problem that brings them into therapy.

  • Shift from past to the present and the future.

Many clients come and seek therapy with past trauma. SFBT therapists believe that clients need to liberate themselves from the past. Searching and revisiting past trauma does not help constructive therapy. Instead, therapists usually focus on the present or the future. They are more interested in what is possible, and they have little or no interest in gaining understanding of the past. (Corey, 2009).

  • Shift from problem-solving to solution-focused.

Corey (2009) pointed out a statement made by Steve de Shazer, co-founder of SFBT, that it is not necessary to know the cause of a problem to solve it, and that there is no necessary relationship between the cause of problems and their solutions. Getting at causes to a problem does not solve the problem; finding solutions to a problem does. Since exploring past trauma and gathering information about problems does not contribute to positive changes, SFBT helpers emphasize assisting clients to channel their energy in making a shift from a fixed problem state to a world with new possibilities and solution options.

  • Shift from hierarchical therapeutic relationships to collaborative and cooperative relationships.

There is no single solution for every problem. SFBT is a strength-based system with a solution-building approach. SFBT believes that clients are the experts on their own lives and that they have the strengths, resources, and coping skills to make positive changes. Therapists strive to facilitate collaborative partnerships with clients. They listen attentively to capture clients’ experiences and meanings, ask questions to promote clients’ new awareness for future possibilities, and empower clients to define their own measures of successful changes. The quality of the client-therapist relationship is a critical determination in the outcomes of SFBT. (McKeel, 1996). In other words, if there is no connection, there is no therapy!

De Shazer (1988) has described three types of client-therapy relationships: visitor, complainant, and customer.

  1. Visitor is the client who comes to therapy because someone else considers that the client has a problem. Visitor may not agree that he/she has a problem.  Therefore, the client may be unable to engage in the therapy.
  2. Complainant is the client who expresses a problem.  However, the client is unable or unwilling to assume a role in establishing a solution. Complainant generally expects therapists to change the ones to whom the complainant attributes the problem. Complainants tend to view themselves as victims of their problems.
  3. Customer is the client who is in cooperation with the therapist to identify a problem and a solution to work forward. Customer acknowledges that personal efforts are needed to reach the client-defined goals.   

SFBT has designed different strategies to approach clients at different relationship stages. The visitor-complainant-customer relationships alter before, within, and between sessions.

McKeel (1996) indicated that many research findings show that SFBT is effective, and that many techniques of the SFBT model accomplish their intended purpose. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is one of the most popular and widely applied psychotherapy approaches in the world. It has been applied to almost all problems seen by clinicians. SFBT has been used by family therapy, couples therapy, treatment of sexual abuse, treatment of substance abuse, sex therapy, treatment of schizophrenia, interventions in social service agencies, education settings, business systems, and occupational therapy. (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006).

Egan (2007) suggests that there have been some criticisms of a solution-focused approach. Some suspect that it runs the risk of being don’t-worry-be-happy, or being too pie-in-the-sky. Others criticize that it may disorient some clients as they are used to dealing with problems and expect answers from the experts, not themselves. Nevertheless, SFBT is doing what works and what is best for clients.

B. History & Background

Filed under: B. History & Background — solutiontherapy @ 11:59 am

§ History and Background

Let us watch “A brief history of the solution-focused approach” from YouTube.
 
 
In the late 1970’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Steve de Shazer and his wife, Insoo Kim Berg, founded the Brief Family Therapy Center.  They pioneered and co-developed the solution-focused client-oriented brief therapy known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. SFBT evolved from brief family therapy. The Brief Family Therapy approach was rooted in the work of Milton H. Erickson, who emphasized brief strategic intervention and the application of submerged client competencies. (Burke and Schroerlucke, 2009). Steve de Shazer, along with Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues modified existing brief therapy and kept only what worked effectively for the clients. The approach reflects the fundamental philosophy of SFBT to

“do what works and do more of it; if it does not work, do something different.”

 

“The most useful way to decide which door can be opened to get a solution is by getting a description of what the client will be doing differently and/or what sorts of things will be happening that are different when the problem is solved, thus creating the expectation of beneficial change.”

by Steve de Shazer (1940 – 2005).

 

Steve de Shazer was a pioneer in the field of family therapy and was often referred to as the “Grand Old Man of Family Therapy.” He was known for his minimalist philosophy and his reversing the traditional psychotherapy by shifting the focus of treatment from problems to solutions. A Fellow in the American Association of Marital and Family Therapy, Steve de Shazer was also a member of the European Brief Therapy Association Board, and served as President of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association Board of Directors. He has contributed and published many groundbreaking works of literature in solution-focused brief therapy. Steve de Shazer has presented workshops from 2002 until he passed away on September 11, 2005 in Vienna, Austria. His wife and long time collaborator, Insoo Kim Berg was by his side. (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006).

 

 

 

“In the 1970′s and in early 1980′s, a startling discovery was made that almost every problem contains an element of solutions,” & “We value what the client brings to the situation and work with that.”

by Insoo Kim Berg (1934-2007).

 

Insoo Kim Berg was a native Korean who came to the US and initially planned to study pharmacy. She later switched her major to social work and started practice in the 1960’s. She stated in one of her interviews: “In the sixties, I was doing therapy and I was very dissatisfied with the traditional therapy approach. I realized: ‘This doesn’t work’.” Discontented with the use of traditional therapy approaches, Insoo Kim Berg along with her husband, Steve de Shazer, developed and made a paradigm shift from traditional problem-solving psychotherapy approaches to Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. By introducing such concepts as solution-orientation and brief therapy, she has influenced the fields of psychotherapy, family therapy, school counseling, business, and management consulting.  Insoo Kim Berg published ten highly acclaimed books. She passed away in Milwaukee 16 months after Steve de Shazer had died in September 2005. 

To learn more about Insoo Kim Berg, watch the video clip and read the following two interviews:

http://www.oplossingsgerichtveranderen.nl/interviewInsooKimBerg.pdf

http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/Insoo_Kim_Berg

 

 

C. Application

Filed under: C. Application — solutiontherapy @ 11:58 am

§ SFBT Counseling Applications

 

 

“They would chop me up into little fragments and tag each piece with a label…  Who, me confused? Ambivalent? Not so. Only your labels split me.”

(Anzaldúa, 2002)

As stated earlier, Solution Focused Brief Therapy is a strength-based system that focuses on the client as the expert without prescribing labels and diagnoses (Corey, 2009).  It is a type of “talking therapy” based on Social Constructionist philosophy (Dermer, Hemesath, Russell, 1998).  The therapist/counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future.  The therapist and client then start making either small or large moves towards this future (De Jong & Berg, 2008).  To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources as well as about exceptions to the problem (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006). 

Solution focused therapists embody the idea that change is constant, fluid, and evolving. By helping people identify the aspects that they wish to have changed in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue to have happen, SFBT therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves (Corcoran, Pillai, 2009). The SFBT therapist then helps the client to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future and examines what is different during these particular times. By bringing these small successes to the client’s awareness and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapist helps the client move towards the preferred future they have identified.

Solution focused therapy can be seen as a way of working that focuses exclusively or predominantly at two things.

  1. Supporting people to explore their preferred futures.
  2. Exploring when, where, with whom and how pieces of that preferred future are already happening.

While this is often done using a social constructionist perspective, the approach is practical and can be achieved with no specific theoretical framework beyond the intention to keep as close as possible to these two things (Stalker, Levene, Coady, 1999).  It must be noted that SFBT is deceptively easy (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006).  While the basics may seem obvious, a therapist must be skilled in order to perform SFBT with clients.  It is necessary for a therapist to maintain an open mind, be aware of cultural differences, differences in value systems, and differences in belief systems (Dermer, Hemesath, Russell, 1998). Seminars are offered to counselors across the country to better hone skills in the SFBT model (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006).

If a therapist practices SFBT, they must familiarize themselves with nontraditional questioning of their clients.  The types of questions a therapist practicing SFBT would ask include exception questions, miracle questions, scaling questions, and coping questions.  Each form of questioning is discussed below. 

  • Exception Questions

Exception questions are asked starting during the initial phone call or however the client broaches the subject of making an appointment (Corey, 2009).  The therapist asks the client to think of a time in their life when the particular problem did not exist for them.  The counselor is trying to find out what different circumstances existed or what the client did differently during the time when the problem was less severe or absent (Corey, 2009).  The goal is for the client to repeat what has worked in the past, jettison those things that did not work or are not working now, and to gain confidence in order to make improvements for the future.  The counselor is able to help clients to shift their perspective toward something positive; therefore recruiting the client’s cooperation.

  • Miracle Questions

The miracle question usually takes place during the first session (Corey, 2009).  The therapist is trying to help the client envision how the future will be different when the problem is no longer present (Corey, 2009).  The therapist may ask a client to imagine that they finish the rest of the day as planned and go to sleep.  The next day, all of the problems bringing them to therapy are no longer present.  The counselor may then ask how the client will begin discovering that the “miracle” has taken place, ask what they will do, and what their life is like now (Burke, Schroerluck, 2009).  The miracle question must be asked slowly while paying attention to nonverbal cues from the client.  The counselor must allow for a reflective silence and for the client to start out with no idea of how this scenario looks.  The counselor may ask the client to rate their miracle day on a scale with 0 being the worst things have ever been and 10 being the miracle day.  The therapist may ask the client to rate where on the scale they would need to be in order to no longer need therapy (Burke, Schroerluck, 2009).  The counselor may ask the client to identify how they will begin to know when they are one point higher on the scale.  The counselor wants the client to formulate positive goals focusing on what they will do rather than what they will not do. 

  • Scaling Questions

Scaling was discussed briefly during the miracle question phase.  Scaling is a tool to identify useful differences for the client and may assist in establishing goals.  Usually, the scale ranges from the worst things have ever been to the best things could ever be (Corey, 2009).  The client should first rate their current position, and then the therapist should ask questions to identify where the changing points are on the scale.  The counselor may ask questions like what keeps the client from slipping down a point, and they would have the client describe a perfect future in order to identify at what point on the scale would be good enough for the client.

  • Coping Questions

Coping questions are designed to bring to the forefront resources that have gone unnoticed by the client (Corey, 2009).  A therapist may acknowledge that things are difficult for a client, but then may say for example that in spite of all of the difficulties, the client still manages to get up in the morning, get the children off to school, etc.  The counselor may then ask how the client is able to perform these routine functions.  Genuine admiration and curiosity can serve to highlight a client’s strengths without contradicting the client’s views of reality.  Summarizing that a counselor can see that things are difficult validates the client’s story.  However, the second part counters the problem-focused narrative.  Coping questions are supportive and start to challenge and shift the focus away from the problem-focused narratives.

Watch “A demonstration of using different SFBT techniques” on YouTube.

Because SFBT is not supported by empirical data, it has been criticized (Stalker, Levene, Coady, 1999). Stalker and her colleagues argue that counselors and other social workers should avoid the “rigid adherence to narrow models” (Stalker, Levene, Coady, 1999). They also argue that students must be knowledgeable in numerous theories and techniques so that during practice, they can use the best combination rather than focus on one technique.  It has also been said that if therapists are only trained in SFBT, then there would be no point in putting oneself through such rigorous studies, because SFBT can be performed by anyone (Stalker, Levene, Coady, 1999). Proponents of SFBT would disagree in that therapists need to know how to properly administer SFBT and help direct the client to positive, not destructive or enabling outcomes (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006).  

In conclusion of SFBT application, the four questioning styles mentioned above are the starting point to SFBT.  The therapist continues to be supportive and make positive suggestions while keeping in mind that it is the client’s responsibility to come up with their solutions in order to direct their own lives (Corey, 2009).  SFBT continues to thrive in professional practices and training facilities around the world (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006). Steve de Shazer realized that problems are complex, but he felt that the solutions did not have to be (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006). One of the most influential therapy styles has grown out of the idea that importance should be given to solutions, not to causes of problems (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, Nelson, 2006). There is ongoing research in regards to SFBT.  It will no doubt be interesting to see what new findings come from researchers using and critiquing SFBT and what it will mean for the field of counseling.

Let us take a look at practitioners talk about using Solution Focused Approaches in their work. 

D. Perspective from VR Counseling

Filed under: D. Perspective from VR Counseling — solutiontherapy @ 11:55 am

§ Perspective from Vocational

Rehabilitation Counseling 

  

 
After researching and preparing for this presentation, we feel that SFBT can be effective with VR clients.  In helping them become more independent, and in the end gainfully employed, it is important for VR clients to be their own advocates from the beginning.  They must learn early on how to come to their own solutions, and know when it is appropriate to ask for help. SFBT provides a positive, brief, and result oriented approach. It fits well with the requirements put in place by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to uphold the standards in providing effective, efficient, and quality rehabilitation services. If a client can use components of SFBT throughout the VR process, they will learn to be more proactive in all aspects of life. The benefits extend and continue outside of therapy. 
 
During our project construction, Dr. Stanger helped greatly by offering her valuable advice and connecting us with her former students for resources. Therefore, we had the opportunity to consult Vocational Rehabilitation professionals who have utilized SFBT in working with their clients. We would like to share their experiences and comments regarding SFBT. Special thanks to Ms. Sandra Fagan and Ms. Pauline Pina! Both of them are VR Supervisors at the California Department of Rehabilitation, who have graciously shared their insights and contributed to our presentation.  

Interviews with VR Professionals

 

An Interview with Ms. Sandra Fagan:  

What’s your definition of SFBT? Do you have a certain format or procedure in practicing SFBT?  Also, how do you approach SFBT with your clients?  How do you get them on board with SFBT instead of them expecting all of the answers from their counselor? 

Ms. Fagan: SFBT requires a mental shift in our perception as counselors from the traditional approach that is more than an interview outline with prearranged questions. It can help empower clients to actively seek their own solutions. The approach moves clients from a dependent role to an empowered role and helps them realize they have the ability to find solutions to difficult problems. As a Supervisor I know that Rehabilitation Counselors don’t have the time to explore problem issues exhaustively over a number of interviews. If the counselor places a focus on solutions fairly quickly it can help to develop a SFBT approach. The client is considered the “expert” so the counselor needs to reinforce anything positive from the client by paraphrasing and complimenting, while using the language of the client. By taking a position of “not knowing” and having the client be the expert is an intelligent way to assist a client’s sense of competence and allow them the ability to set their own goals.

It has been some time since I carried a caseload of clients since I have been a Supervisor for the past 12 years. As a counselor, I would formulate my questions more carefully and use more open-ended questions. I believe his would be useful since questions and answers lead to a new awareness and further possibilities. I believe this would help to better clarify the situation and magnify a client’s goals, strengths and successes. The readings emphasize it is important to echo the client’s own words to capture the client’s experience and their own meaning.

In terms of vocational rehabilitation counseling, which groups of clients do you consider appropriate for SFBT approach, and which groups may not benefit as much?

 Ms. Fagan: Most clients will be appropriate for SFBT. You probably have studied the 3 types of clients (visitor, complainant and the customer). Some clients will not accept responsibility and blame others by playing the “victim”. If the client finds it difficult to trust anyone it will be a slow process to try and help him or her. One must be careful of our own viewpoints as it may cloud how you see a client. We should try and give everyone “no fault insurance” with the benefit of the doubt and ascribe goodness of intent to all.

Please share your experience using SFBT: Which aspects of SFBT appeal to you the most? Have you experienced any challenge in applying SFBT? 

Ms. Fagan: I usually only meet with clients face to face when they have an issue with their counselor. This can be in a client assistant advocate (CAP) meeting) an Administrative review with the District Administrator (DA) or at an Appeals Board Hearing.

I did have an experience via telephone with a disgruntled client who called me to complain about a counselor. He also e-mailed me and wrote, “I am going to test the attempt at a return to work. Nothing is going to stop me. With or without you. But not without DOR. That won’t happen. And if I have to be as annoying as hell and piss everyone off to obtain the help… I need to become gainfully employed, I will.” It is interesting that he has had 4 previous counselors.  Our phone conversation indicated he had a number of problems and issues. I basically let him vent and listened. I picked up on some positives in his past work experiences, complimented him on a previous job and even asked him about his dream job. He finally calmed down and decided to return to DOR and start over with the counselor.

SBT is a new way of looking at a client’s problems in order to build a solution. As helpers who interview persons with disabilities, it is important to understand the consumer’s own description of why they came to see us. We traditionally have viewed problems from the idea that we need to solve the person’s problem, but there is no single solution for every problem. In SFT we replace the focus on problems with a focus on the client’s strengths. To date I have never experienced any challenge in applying SFBT. I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t like SFT, so I think it is comfortable to incorporate.

Our project consists of a presentation using Word Press blog and a weeklong Q and A discussion board. The goal is to promote better understanding of the theory and the application. We put together the description, history and background, application, and a one-page quick reference of SFBT. Please share with us ideas to include, and things to pay attention to, and so forth.

Ms. Fagan: A counselor needs to use empathy with respect, paraphrasing, complimenting, reinforcement, summarization and body language that demonstrates professionalism and caring to build up a trust with the client. We listen and are silent when necessary and used open-ended questions to promote a conversation about building a solution. The more action a client can take to create change, the more self-confidence will emerge.

The exception question might be the more difficult. To ask a client to explore a time in their life when no problem existed may be problematical. I think it could be helpful to go back and assess the three types of clients, (visitor, complainant and the customer) before deciding how effective the exception question may be. The visitor may not acknowledge that a problem exists or be able to identify a specific goal with which to work. A complainant can probably identify the problem or solution but may not be willing to change. I believe the “customer” would be the easiest person with which to use the exception question. This particular person may be ready to recognize their problem and accept responsibility for any action that is needed to bring about change.

How can SFBT be used in real life situations as opposed to solely in the counseling sessions? 

Ms. Fagan: SFBT can be used in daily situations. I know I have tried this with my daughter who lives in Colorado. She was experiencing some problems at work. I tried to focus the discussion on the positives, complimented her on what she was doing right, asked the exception question and hoped that she would be able to solve her own problem by thinking it through. Basically it is a good way to approach any problems by allowing a person to come up with their own solution. 

Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us! 

An interview with Pauline Pina:

a) What’s your definition of SFBT? b) Do you have a certain format or procedure in practicing SFBT? c) Also, how do you approach SFBT with your clients?  d) How do you get them on board with SFBT instead of them expecting all of the answers from their counselor?

Ms. Pina: a)    SFBT is a counseling process that helps a person to find their own solutions to their problems.

b)    I will begin by greeting them and thanking them for meeting with me. I may ask, “How can I help you, and listen with empathy, and begin the process of building rapport. Second I ask open-ended questions that will help gain more information about the problem. For example, (Tell me why you believe that your employer is going to fire you and you think you should quit your job?  What else happened? So you’re telling me you would like to keep your job and you don’t want to quit or get fired. What would need to happen so you can keep your job). I will repeat back what the person said, they see that I am listening, and it helps to clarify, and helps the person to come up with ideas to solve their problems.

c)     Well, we are helping the person to tell their stories about their experiences. You build on their stories to find exceptions when the behavior or problem is not happening, it happens naturally with practice. I found that in asking the miracle question, you could see change in the person’s behavior. It may be their postures, a smile, talk more, and just being relaxed. The person may have several needs and you figure out how to help them identify and prioritize what is important. This helps you work with them to identify goals and homework.  It is also important to provide praise and reinforcement to foster positive change.

d)    I use the scaling questions (0-10) to see how motivated or overwhelmed they are with the situation. The person may rate themselves at a 5. Then I may ask the person what it will take to get to a 5-7, look for exceptions in the person stories. This is important in helping build more successful outcomes. Use Exception, Amplify, Reinforce, and Start again. 

In terms of vocational rehabilitation counseling, which groups of clients do you consider appropriate for SFBT approach, and which groups may not benefit as much?

Ms. Pina: I personally believe that SFBT will work for every person. The questions are individualized to meet the person’s individual needs.

Please share your experience using SFBT: Which aspects of SFBT appeal to you the most? Have you experienced any challenge in applying SFBT?

Ms. Pina: I personally like all the steps of SFBT.  In the beginning I had most difficulty with exceptions, but with practice the exceptions came more naturally. I think the hardest part may be stopping for a break, just because of time constraints at work. If you are able to take breaks, it helps with additional insight from peers or your supervisor. SFBT is a counseling process that complements the work we do in VR.

Our project consists of a presentation using Word Press blog and a weeklong Q and A discussion board. The goal is to promote better understanding of the theory and the application. We put together the description, history and background, application, and a one-page quick reference of SFBT. Please share with us ideas to include, and things to pay attention to, and so forth.

Ms. Pina: I think the reference page is a good idea. I would love to see a copy. I used index cards to help me and would review the cards before I met with my clients. I think it is important for us counselors to pay attention to the questions we ask as well as our behavior and not to judge people. We all have our own ideas and values about things, but we should not judge our clients. In asking questions and responding to the person, we need to treat people respectfully.

How can SFBT be used in real life situations as opposed to solely in the counseling sessions? 

Ms. Pina: I have used SFBT in team building skills at trainings by setting up SF guidelines for each group/team to follow. Staff worked in a group together. In each group there was a facilitator who had SFBT training and understood the process. The employees identified problems that they wanted to solve as a group. They prioritized problems as a group, and we followed the process to solve the problems. It worked out very well. Exceptions were identified by groups and so on. The feedback from everyone was positive. I have used SF with my counselors when they come and ask me about a case. I ask how I can help them and listen and paraphrase, so your saying, I ask them to tell me what they would do, and so on. They already know the answers. I provide compliments and start again.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Your insightful comments are much appreciated!

E. SFBT Handout

Filed under: E. SFBT Handout — solutiontherapy @ 11:53 am

SFBT Hand-Out

The key concepts of SFBT consist of the following major shifts to depart from traditional psychotherapy that sought after constructing solutions from problem descriptions and speculating on causality.

  • Shift from past to the present and the future.
  • Shift from problem-solving to solution-focused.
  • Shift from hierarchical therapeutic relationships to collaborative and cooperative relationships.

 

The three types of client-therapy relationships:

  • Visitor is the client who comes to therapy because someone else considers that the client has a problem.
  • Complainant is the client who expresses a problem, however, is unable or unwilling to assume a role in establishing a solution.
  • Customer is the client who is in cooperation with the therapist to identify a problem and a solution to work forward.

SFBT has designed different strategies to approach clients at different relationship stages. The visitor-complainant-customer relationships alter before, within, and between sessions. SFBT is doing what works and what is best for clients.

SFBT applicational techniques and questions: 

  • Exception Questions. The therapist asks the client to think of a time in their life when the particular problems did not exist or less problamatic for them. 
  • Miracle Questions. Asking miracle questions help the client envision how the future will be different when the problem is no longer present.
  • Scaling Questions. Scaling is a tool to identify useful differences for the client and may assist in establishing goals.
  • Coping Questions. Coping questions are supportive and start to challenge and shift the focus away from the problem-focused narratives.

 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If it works, do more of it.

If it does not work, stop doing it, and do something else.”

(Bannink, 2007).

You may access and print a copy of SFBT Handout at Shared Docs Area.

F. Reference & Resource

Filed under: F. Reference & Resource — solutiontherapy @ 11:51 am

§ References & Resources:

 

Anzaldúa, G. E. “La Prieta.” This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color. Ed. Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa.  Berkeley: Third Woman Press, 2002. 220-33.

This essay is written by Gloria Anzaldua, a prominent Latina writer in the fields of Women’s Studies and Critical Race Theory.  She describes growing up as “the Dark One,” or “La Prieta” in her family.  She describes how it feels to be labeled and categorized by others.

 

Bannink, F. P. (2007). Solution-focused brief therapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 37, 87-94. doi:10.1007/s10879-006-9140-y

This paper provides an overview on SFBT. It discusses the history, theoretical background, and the comparison with traditional psychotherapy. It also points out that SFBT is a form of cognitive behavior therapy. This article provides us with the preamble idea for our presentation.

 

Burke, H. and Schroerluck, D. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. California Institute of Integral Studies, 2009.

This paper was provided to us by Hillary Burke who presented her findings on SFBT at a conference.  The paper describes the basic foundations and applications of SFBT.

Corcoran, J., Pillai, V. A Review of the Research on Solution-Focused Therapy. British Journal of Social Work.  Oxford:Mar 2009.  Vol. 39,  Iss. 2,  p. 234-242.

This article focuses on a review of the research being done in SFBT.  It discusses findings by proponents and critics of SFBT.  A discussion is also presented on how SFBT can and is being used in social work.

Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole – Thomson Higher Education.

Chapter 13 of our text describes the foundations and applications of SFBT and how the theory is used in counseling.

DeJong, P., &Berg, I. K. (2008). Interviewing for solutions, 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

This book goes in-depth into SFBT’s practices.  It discusses how to interview clients by using SFBT approaches. 

Dermer, S. B., Hemesath, C. W., Russell, C. S.

A FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF SOLUTION-FOCUSED THERAPY. American Journal of Family Therapy; Jul-Sep98, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p239-250.

This article discusses SFBT from a feminist standpoint.  It points out both uses and limitations for SFBT in accordance with feminist views. 

De Shazer, S. (1988). Clues: Investigating solutions in brief therapy. New York: Norton.

This book discusses the formation, approach, techniques, and application of SFBT.

 

Egan, G. (2007). The Skilled Helper (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole – Cengage Learning.

Chapter 11 of this textbook discusses the viewpoints and relationship between clients and helpers in practicing SFBT.

 

McKeel, J. (1996). A selected review of research of solution-focused brief therapy. Retrieved December 3, 2009 from

http://www.sft-l.sikt.nu/Review%20McKeel.htm

A review and research on the effectiveness of SFBT application.

 

Stalker, C., Levene, J., & Coady, N. (1999). Solution-focused brief therapy–one model fits all?. Families in Society, 80(5), 468-477. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

This article serves to critique SFBT.  It discusses the idea of SFBT being seen as a “one size fits all” philosophy.  The authors discuss how narrow of a scope SFBT is when viewed from the “one size fits all” standpoint. 

Trepper, T., Dolan, Y., McCollum, E., & Nelson, T. (2006). STEVE DE SHAZER AND THE FUTURE OF SOLUTION-FOCUSED THERAPY. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 32(2), 133-139. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

This article goes in-depth and into great detail about the history, background, and theory of SFBT.  The article discusses the lives of the founders and how SFBT has been shaped by the founders as well as other therapists.

 

Visser, C. (2004). Solution-focused change: Interview with Insoo Kim Berg. Retrieved January 18, 2010 from http://www.oplossingsgerichtveranderen.nl/interviewInsooKimBerg.pdf

Yalom, V. (2003). An interview with Insoo Kim Berg, LCSW. Retrieved December 3, 2009 from 

          http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/Insoo_Kim_Berg

 

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