Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a therapeutic approach that majors on helping people to construct solutions rather than solve problems. It facilitates an individual’s ability to find a solution to a situation he or she is facing. SFBT is useful for counseling in schools, prisons, public, social and family services. It is also an important tool within child welfare and mental health sectors. SFBT’s main objective is to help victims to imagine how they would like to change their situation and the input required to achieve success. There are no considerations for diagnosis, history taking, or examination of the problem.
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Solution-focused therapists consider aspects such as the client’s resolve to change and his or her input in the change process. Other assumptions include that the solution or part of it has already started. Treatment is brief and usually lasts for a couple of sessions. From the description above, there is an indication that the therapy is applicable in every situation, and a client can use the same steps to overcome a problem regardless of its nature. The main procedure of SFBT entails a search for pre-session change, goal-setting, use of the miracle question, use of scaling questions, a search for exceptions, a consulting break and a message including compliments and task at the end of a session (Jong & Berg, 2002).
The client who came with a problem of losing a job will have to go through the same approach in order to help him construct a solution to the new problem of a relationship ending. His scenario introduces various aspects that characterized the previous case. However, the steps in the previous case will not be followed strictly. For example, it is inappropriate to include the search for a pre-session change and a consulting break. This is because SFBT’s objective is to equip clients with skills to help them address an ensuing depression due to the different problems they face from day to day. Repeating the steps and procedure will assist the client to entrench the steps in his system so that he can easily overcome a depression in future. SFBT works in different ways depending on the client since there are procedures for prison populations, antisocial adolescent offenders, high school students, family setup for couples, public social services, outpatient mental health and orthopedic patients. In order to be consistent and achieve results in the short run as purposed by SFBT, it is necessary to recommend the steps that achieved results in the first instance for the same client. This will facilitate faster recovery for the client while still ensuring that the therapy constitutes all the necessary procedures. Integrating various aspects in two cases will create a comprehensive therapeutic process.
Two of the most used techniques in SFBT are the miracle question and the scaling question. Steve de Shazer and other parties developed these techniques in the 1980s. The miracle question technique involves the therapist guiding the client in assuming a miracle and visualizing the solution to the problem in question. On the other hand, the scaling question technique entails the evaluation of a client’s day based on a 10-point scale. These two techniques are crucial in establishing a solution to a problem. Towards the end of a therapy session, the therapist introduces aspects such as well wishing the client and various follow-up procedures.
Jong, P., & Berg, I. K. (2002). Interviewing for solutions (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.