What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy?

By February 26, 2015

Today’s focus is on Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). You will benefit from this approach if you:

  • want to break free from an addiction like alcoholism
  • want the shortest path to a solution as possible
  • prefer a highly structured process of psychological inquiry that values a present to future orientation

solution-focusedSFBT originated through a variety of sources beginning in the late 1950’s that included staff at the Milwaukee Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, WS, researchers at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA (Gregory Bateson, Virginia Satir, and Jay Haley among them), and independent thought leaders like Milton Erickson.

SFBT is premised on a social construction philosophy, and recognizes that individuals are part of social systems. By briefly visiting the past, you are able to provide context, meaning, and value to your current inquiry. Counselors do not offer interpretations, nor do they confront beliefs or behaviors. They believe that personal change is a constant and that the inner resources you need to accomplish your goals are already active within you. The counselor focuses on expanding your existing competencies.

What happens in a SFBT session?

  • Identify your goal or goals
  • Generate a detailed inquiry about these goals surfacing your existing competencies and growing skills to achieve the goal as evidenced by information derived from MECSTAT
  • Utilize a series of questions MECSTAT – Miracle Questions, Exception questions, Coping questions, Scaling questions, Timeout, Accolades and Task.
  • Reinforce growing skills internally through continually updating responses to the MECSTAT questions and making life choices to align external resources like friends, family, and additional support

Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association:

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