Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Through The Forest Counseling of Boston

100 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114
+1 (857) 299-1123

Through The Forest Counseling of Quincy

859 Willard St Ste 400b, Quincy, MA 02169
+1 (617) 845-0990

Through The Forest Counseling of New Haven

157 Church St 19th FL, Connecticut Financial Center, New Haven, CT 06510

Unlike traditional kinds of therapy, which take time to evaluate problems, pathology, and past life events, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) focuses on finding solutions in the present and examining one’s hope for the future in time to find faster resolution of one’s difficulties. This strategy takes that you know what you need to do to enhance your own life and that you are capable of finding the best solutions with the right coaching and questioning.

The core of SFBT is goal-setting; one of the first steps is to identify and explain your goals. The therapist will begin by asking you what you intend to gain from working with the therapist and how, precisely, your life might change if steps to resolve problems were taken. By answering these questions, you can begin to identify solutions and develop a plan for change. The miracle question is one of the therapist’s important questions: “If a miracle occurred while you were sleeping tonight, what changes would you notice in your life tomorrow?” This frees up your mind for creative thinking and, once again, for setting goals and developing a clear plan that will lead to life-changing solutions.

SFBT techniques can be used in conjunction with other types of counseling and therapy. Look for a licensed, experienced counselor, social worker, psychotherapist, or other mental health professional who has received SFBT training. In addition to finding someone with the necessary educational background, experience, and positive approach, look for a therapist with whom you feel comfortable sharing personal issues.

SFBT can be utilized as a standalone therapeutic intervention or in conjunction with other therapy styles and treatments. It is used to treat people of various ages and a wide variety of issues, including child behavioral disorders, family dysfunction, domestic or child abuse, addiction, and relationship problems. Though not a solution for psychiatric disorders such as depression or schizophrenia, SFBT may help persons who suffer from these conditions improve their quality of life.

SFBT was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Milwaukee psychotherapists Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg out of a desire to pay more attention to what people want and what works best for the individual, as opposed to more traditional psychotherapies that assume to know what works for different types of problems. One of the original beliefs of SFBT therapists was that the solution to a problem can be found in “exceptions,” or times when one is free of the problem or taking steps to handle the problem. SFBT begins with what the individual is currently doing to initiate behavioral and lifestyle changes, based on the theory that all individuals are at least partly driven to find solutions. The therapist employs interventions such as specific questioning techniques, 0-10 scales, empathy, and compliments to assist a person in recognizing one’s own virtues, such as courage and strength, that have recently helped the person get through difficult times and are likely to work well in the future. Individuals learn to focus on what they can accomplish rather than what they can’t, which allows them to find solutions and create positive changes faster.

What is the next step?

If you or someone you love is considering individual therapy or counseling, please contact Through The Forest Counseling. We are a team of professionals who have the expertise to help.

Call us at our office to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled clinicians at Through The Forest Counseling.