Solution-Focused Therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented approach developed by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. Therapy is aimed at facilitating the solution of client problems rather than an in-depth exploration of their origins.
Solution-Focused Therapy suggests that language is a powerful vehicle for change and that by shifting from discussing problems, which often involves implicit negativity, a focus on the past, and a belief that problems will not change, to discussing solutions, one can begin to see more hopeful possibilities for their future. This theory also subscribes to ideas derived from social constructionism, particularly the belief that the future is something that we can create and that individuals are not determined by their pasts.
Therapy involves collaborating with the client to develop small, manageable steps to help them move towards their goals. Clients are guided in imagining their desired outcome from therapy, and solutions are developed by working backwards from there. Very little time is spent discussing the origins of the problem, and the focus remains on how to solve it. Solutions that have worked for clients in the past are explored, and solutions that have been used that have not worked are replaced with more effective options. Therapists aim to avoid judgement, instead joining with the client’s goals and opening up different possibilities for change. Progress is measured from session to session as a means of evaluating the effectiveness of solutions that have been implemented.
References: de Shazer, S. & Dolan, Y. (2007). More than miracles: the state of the art of solution-focused brief therapy. New York: Routledge.
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