Solution Focused Brief Therapy | E Therapy

Solution-focused brief therapy

This therapy is based on the work of Steve de Shazer. The theory has it’s basis in sociological ideas and draws on the ideas from systemic family therapy – that work with clients can be brief and actively uses questioning to help clients think of different positive options to find an appropriate ‘solution’ for their particular issue.

The therapist will be aware of the language used by the client in how their life is – the ‘problem talk’ used by the person will dictate how they conduct their life, relationships and way of being in the world. These can get in the way of the ‘solutions’ the client can find for themselves. The therapist asks the client to use ‘solution talk’ but will not encourage negative talk about their worries.

The therapist uses a number of the strategies below to help clients to verbalise and follow through on a number of solutions:

  • Change being the main focus.
  • Talking ‘solutions’ not ‘problems’.
  • Looking for the exception: the therapist may ask ‘When were you last happy?’ ‘What helps?’
  • Using easily remembered statements to help the client prompt themselves eg. ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’
  • Miracle question: ‘Imagine if you go to sleep and a miracle happens. You don’t realise a miracle has happened and your problem is sorted. What would let you know the miracle has happened when you wake up?’
  • Scaling: the client rates the issue (eg motivation or anxiety) on a scale of 1 to 10. The therapist then asks about small clients wants to work on to improve this.
  • Homework tasks are also given by the therapist.

This therapy works well with couples, families and children.