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 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 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

Goal setting is at the foundation of SFBT; one of the first steps is to identify and clarify client goals. As your therapist I will begin by questioning what you hope to get out of working with me and how, specifically, your life would change when steps are taken to resolve problems. By answering these types of questions, you can begin to identify solutions and come up with a plan for change.

— William Portis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bloomington, IL

At times focusing on the problem is not useful, but rather focusing on the solution is. I take the assumption that you have the answers to what would make your life better with emphasis on concise and realistic goal setting. Through various types of questioning I assist with developing your vision of the solutions and the means of achieving them.

— Cherice Poole, Clinical Social Worker in Roswell, GA

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

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

SFT relies on the principle that you are resilient and already possess some knowledge on how your life could be better. As your therapist, I will help you to explore hope for the future, so we can identify what steps to take to improve your life.

— Mallory Lyons, Counselor in Redmond, WA

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

What are you already doing well as a couple? This method of therapy focused on looking at the strengths you already possess and using those to find solutions for the areas of growth in the relationship. This method is structured and comes with homework and exercises for the couple to continue with at home.

— Kristal DeSantis, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Many clients see progress in as little as three sessions because my approach is to enable them to understand that change is possible. While the history is an important part of the journey, it is also important to move to finding solutions.

— Shawn Beard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Pittsburgh, PA

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

The majority of my career has been spent working in programs or settings that are short-term in nature. This type of setting forced me to learn how to develop a relationship of respect and trust with clients immediately. This also helped me learn how to prioritize issues that needed to be addressed.

— Jenny Matthews, Therapist in Bloomington, MN

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

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

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

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

I find that most people know why they are deciding at this time to come to therapy. They know what they want to do, like end a relationship, or change jobs, but just need empowering on how to get there. I assist with the goal setting, and how they would like to obtain the goals set, by trusting the process, and focusing on what what they can do, instead of what they can not do or have not done.

— Teresa Meadows, Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I have spent over 10 years learning the Solution Focused Approach and I continue to attend conferences and trainings taught by the experts in this evidence based approach.

— Deanna Potts, Clinical Social Worker in Keller, TX

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 offer solution focused brief therapy because I'm not of the belief that therapy must last a long time to be effective. Many people I work with are in need of a unique perspective, someone to process a struggle through with, and to quickly reach a solution to the problem they are facing. I have specific training and experience in delivering brief therapy and can help you find the solutions you're looking for.

— Robert Hinojosa, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Little Rock, AR

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

Sometimes we have a problems in life that we need to figure out how to address quickly. Solution Focused Brief Therapy is the answer. We identify a problem, figure out potential solutions and put those solutions into practice.

— Michelle Fortier, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Tallahassee, FL

Want to talk about problems or solutions? Problem talk can result in just and only that, more talk about problems. How about talking about what you would like in the relationship? What is your ideal preferred future? Let's discuss it in a safe, comfortable environment where you can be heard.

— Larry Baumgartner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Trinity, FL