Solution Focused Therapy
Course: Working with Families
February 10, 2012
Group Project presented by
Kyle McNair, Linda Ellison and Lesley Smith
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
Focuses on solutions rather
than on the problems that
brought clients to seek
Offers a connection between
strategic theories and
Emphasizes the need for
clients to have clear and
Steve deShaver And Insoo Berg
• Co-Developed SFT
• Research for SFT based
from the Brief Therapy
Center in Milwaukee
Clinician affliated with BFTC
Developed a controversial
model for working with
Differs from most therapy
models because the batterer
is included in the sessions
• Her book, Divorce Busting is
addressed to couples.
• Known for including the
following phrase in therapy:
“Do a one-eighty”
• If what a person is doing is not
working, then he or she is advised
to do the opposite.
SFT Therapist Optimistic Approach to
• Starts session by discussing anything
that is not related to the client’s issues,
(weather, job, school etc..).
• Avoids confrontation or disagreements
• Asks a series of questions designed to
retrieve exceptions to the problem.
Hypnotist that combined the ideas
of his teacher, Hypnosist Milton
Erickson with the SFT.
Ideas based on the phenomenon,
Uses language that matches the
ex: Client- “I see him failing.”
Therapist- “ It looks bleak to you.”
Validation and acknowledgements by the therapist encourages
the client to change his or her way of thinking, while giving the
message that the therapist has been listening and cares(pg. 178).
Helps to point out what the client is doing that is working
Encourages self compliment by inviting the client to describe
a situation where he or she did something productive to
correct the problem
Example of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Conducted by Insoo Berg
In this clip, Berg demonstrates the SFBT she used
in marriage counseling
Discussion More to Come
• SFT Therapists assigns formula tasks
for married couples to try at home.
• SFT is factual, cognitive, and easily teachable.
• It is clear, concise and obtains an optimistic
view of people.
Refers to the past only to gain insight on
exceptions to the problem
• Therapist praises the client’s accomplishments