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What is Solution-focused Therapy?. potted history

Solution-focused Therapy - A Potted History

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) was developed as a variant of Brief Therapy, an approach created by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and colleagues at the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Milwaukee in 1978.

The solution focused approach was created in order to move away from the problem and look for times when the problem was happening less or not at all - it looked for the exception. In developing discussion around hopes for the future instead of trying to evaluate the problem behaviour, Solution Focused Therapy helps us to notice that even entrenched and chronic problems have times when they were less pronounced. The client, can therefore identify small changes that could take place in order to bring about change.

Solution focused therapy looks at changing the thought pattern - what would life be like if the problem was no longer there?
Solution focused therapy is tailored to move us out of a cycle of negativity.
Going over and over the problem isn't helping the problem.


What happens in a session?

In the sessions, we ackowledge that things in your life are perhaps not going as you would like them to. We talk about these - if you want to. We look at the surrounding issues and we talk about what is going well. You pin-point small changes that you can make, so that you can move forward. Solution-focused therapy changes the negative cycle and steers you towards a more positive end result and is especially effective for those who appear to be stuck in a rut and unable to move forward.

Please understand - just because it is solution-focused it does not mean we don't talk about the problem - which is very similar to counselling in that respect - of course we can and we do, but we don't have to. If you are someone who does not want to talk about the problem but you do want to move forward, solution-focused therapy is particularly effective. 

I've been to Counselling and it hasn't worked before, what makes you think that this is different?

It's different to Counselling because solution-focused therapy is about asking you to focus on where you would like to see yourself and how you might get there, rather than asking you to talk constantly about the problem. By looking in detail it helps you find the exceptions to times when you were not feeling so down or hopeless and uses those as a basis to moving forward. It doesn't matter if you struggle to do this - my job is to help you get there in your own time. 

Do you do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

I use the Solution-focused approach as my preferred therapy but I am also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy if you feel that this is something you would like to try.

What is the difference between Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Based Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works through your thoughts, feelings and behaviours - looking at those that are unhelpful or unrealistic and how they affect you. We look at what how you can work through these thoughts and actions, and gradually replace unhelpful with more helpful. Solution focused therapy is a little like CBT (Cognitive Based Therapy) but often does not specifically focus on behaviour and what causes the behaviour. Instead, it asks you to look for times when the problem did not exist and what was happening differently - at how you could make small changes, and thus step into that preferred scenario.


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