Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a present and future-focused, goal-directed therapeutic approach that focuses, as the name suggests, on solutions. Instead of leading with the problems that brought clients to therapy in the first place, SFBT focuses on what clients want to achieve without exploring the history of the issue. SFBT is founded on the belief that clients know what they need to do to improve their lives and the approach provides coaching and questioning to help clients find the best solutions. Solution Focused Brief Therapy is used in the treatment of a variety of issues, including addiction, relationship problems, behavioral problems, abuse and depression. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s Solution Focused Brief Therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

I have received additional training in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy through workshops at mental health agencies and conferences, as well as through supervision and mentoring in this approach. With clients, I nearly always include elements of SFBT in terms of finding exceptions, focusing on solutions, and creating concrete goals.

— Kaleigh Boysen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

Solution-focused therapy is a goal-directed collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change that is conducted through direct observation of clients' responses to a series of precisely constructed questions. Getting to the heart of your issue in a direct and time-focused manner is the goal in this type of therapy. Usually limited in sessions, SFBT is limited to specific issues that are able to be addressed quickly. Appropriate for coaching-type sessions.

— Amanda Dutton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Gainesville, GA

I utilize this model because it is practical and effective. I want to make sure that, no matter what we discuss during a therapy discussion, it is always in the service of your goals.

— Liberty McClead, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sharpsburg, GA

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) differs from other types of therapy approaches because it empowers individuals to focus on their own strengths rather than on their weaknesses. SFBT uses the individual's strengths to overcome a problem or make constructive changes. The therapist is not considered an expert; rather the client assumes the role of the expert about his/her own problem. The scope of SFBT therapist is to assist the clients in making small, realistic, and achievable goals as soon as possible and helping them find the best ways to reach their goals.

— Filippo M. Forni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

It can often be helpful to explore past wounds that have left their scars as far back as our childhoods. However, sometimes the goal of therapy is to solve an immediate problem. If you prefer, I can work with you in a brief, solution-focused approach that gathers your strengths to overcome obstacles in your life.

— Brian Hayes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA

I have been using a solution-focused approach in combination with other modalities since beginning my clinical career in 2011. I continue to participate in SFBT trainings and workshops, most recently in 2018. I believe SFBT helps people envision their best selves, and I help people start working toward that from day one. It's not an overnight process, but I do think that people who come to therapy want to start feeling better pretty quickly.

— Sara Stanizai, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

I absolutely love this treatment approach as it focuses more on coming up with solutions and not focusing on the problem.

— Paulishia Augillard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy or SFBT focuses on finding solutions in the present time and exploring an individual's hope for the future to find quicker resolution to their problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate counseling and questioning, you are capable of finding the best solutions for your future.

— Cheryl Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor in Charlotte, NC

For solution focused therapy, I believe my clients create their own ideal version of themselves and will work together to take the incremental steps to realize where you want to be in life. I ask pointed questions and allow my client to be the experts in their own care. I have been using solution focused therapy for over ten years and have learned to work with my clients to really facilitate change in briefer amounts of time.

— Katie Leikam, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA

The usual course of treatment for my clients is 8-12 sessions. Goals are established in the first few sessions to keep us focused on the desired changes and homework is almost always assigned. The homework assignment is almost always behavioral in nature so don't worry about having "one more thing to do." The focus is on identifying what changes you desire, what has prevented the change from already happening, what needs to happen to enjoy the change and how you will know when you've reached your goal.

— Patricia Lee, Licensed Professional Counselor in COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

I have been practicing this technique since 2010 and continue to attend ongoing trainings regarding this approach to ensure my skills remain sharp and effective.

— Rachel Stapleton, Clinical Social Worker in Kirkland, WA

Our work can be centered on identifying and working towards resolution on a current or persistent issue that is interfering with your current life healthy balance. The direct approach of problem identification and solution exploring can feel very empowering. Sometimes this may lead to deeper unpacking of issues but, initially it is about problem solving and stability.

— Audrianna Gurr, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I have completed graduate-level coursework in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and successfully used Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with clients living with severe mental illness in Medicaid funded treatment programs, all of which had strict fidelity requirements.

— Brian Prester, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

I am a solution-focused therapist which means that I am focused on the positives and building upon your strengths. It is a positive, optimistic and nonjudgmental orientation.

— Marion Rollings, Psychologist in Hillsborough, NJ