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Solution Focused Therapy Critical Essay


Therapists, who rely on solution focused therapy, emphasise the role of exceptions or the situations when a person managed to cope with a problem that usually seemed insurmountable. Moreover, these practitioners lay stress on the idea that a patient has the strength to overcome such difficulties on a regular basis.

This paper includes the discussion of a video that exemplifies the main techniques included in solution focused therapy. In particular, this video shows how a practitioner can help a person control the outbursts of anger. The task of this professional is to assist an individual in changing his/her views on a certain difficulty. These are the main issues that can be distinguished.

The principles of solution focused therapy were formulated by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer (Sharry, 2007, p. 132). This method is aimed at helping clients discover the way in which their difficulties can be overcome. This paper will explore the role of exceptions in this method.

In particular, exceptions can be viewed as those situations when a person was able to cope with his/her challenges. Apart from that, much attention should be paid to the amplification of exceptions. In other words, a therapist should highlight the idea that small successes can be transformed into a norm.

To some degree, this discussion will be based on the role-playing video illustrating a hypothetical interaction between a patient and a therapist. Overall, this video can give viewers deeper insight into the use of solution focused therapy. It is important to mention that solution focused therapy is based on the assumption “that are always exceptions to the problems” (Sharry, 2007, p. 39).

In other words, there are situations when a person is able to overcome a certain difficulty. There are various factors that can influence the behavior of individuals and their relations with other people. More importantly, in many cases, people forget about such situations. Furthermore, they do not analyse them (Sharry, 2007, p. 39). This is why they often feel helpless.

In turn, the task of a practitioner is to urge people to recollect such cases. In part, this principle is reflected in the video. It should be mentioned, a patient is a woman who has problems with anger management (Loveland, 2012). So, she often quarrels with her husband. The practitioner asked her to remember those cases when she did not lose her temper (Loveland, 2012).

Furthermore, he encouraged her to think about the reasons why she was able to control her emotions. Overall, it is possible to argue that this discussion is the first step to identifying solutions to the challenges faced by people. Thus, patients’ perceptions can change. Apart from that, solution focused therapy involves the need to “amplify the exceptions” (Sharry, 2007, p. 39).

In other words, one should encourage a person to think about those qualities that are useful for addressing a certain problem. Moreover, a patient can be asked to speak about his/her experiences on such occasions. This discussion is very important because it demonstrates that a certain problem can be resolved. This approach has been exemplified in this video.

For instance, the patient mentioned deep breathing that often prevented her from venting her spleen on other people (Loveland, 2012). Moreover, they talked about such a method as counting from one to ten. The amplification of exceptions is necessary because it makes an individual feel more confident. Furthermore, the feeling of helplessness does not affect an individual very strongly

. One should keep in mind that the emphasis on exceptions can be useful for solving other problems. For instance, one can speak about work stress, conflicts with relatives and co-workers, or ineffective time management. So, this form of therapy has been used in different settings.

This video highlights the importance of other techniques; for instance, the therapist relied on the so-called “miracle questions” which prompted person to imagine that every problem had been effectively addressed (Sharry, 2007, p. 39; Loveland, 2012). This approach highlighted the idea that it would be easy to overcome a certain problem. Overall, this questioning technique has been rather helpful.

Admittedly, one should remember that it is only a role-playing video illustrating a hypothetical interaction between a patient and a practitioner. In real life, therapists may not face considerable challenges. For instance, it may be difficult for a person to recollect those cases when a certain challenge was effectively overcome. Apart from that, he/she can be very irritated. Nevertheless, this strategy chosen by the practitioner can be applied in various setting if a therapist displays empathy for a person.

Overall, this discussion indicates that exceptions play an important role in solution focused therapy. They are vital for showing that a patient has the strength to cope with a specific challenge. Many people are adversely affected by the lack of confidence. In turn, one should change people’s views on their difficulties.

So, it is important to explore those cases when an individual could address a certain psychological problem or at least reduce its impacts. The chosen video exemplifies the main peculiarities of this technique. It seems that this approach can benefit patients who may encounter various difficulties.

Reference List

Loveland, D. (Executive Producer). (2012, Apr. 11). [Video file].

Sharry, J. (2007). Solution-Focused Groupwork. New York, NY: SAGE.

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"Solution Focused Therapy." IvyPanda, 1 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/solution-focused-therapy/.

1. IvyPanda. "Solution Focused Therapy." July 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/solution-focused-therapy/.


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IvyPanda. "Solution Focused Therapy." July 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/solution-focused-therapy/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Solution Focused Therapy." July 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/solution-focused-therapy/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Solution Focused Therapy'. 1 July.

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