Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is an innovative psychotherapy approach, that is future and goal oriented. It highlights mainly solutions rather than problems and causes (Hough,2002). It was pioneered by De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the late 1970’s at the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Iverson, 2002). SFBT takes a constructionist approach, whereby there is no absolute reality, but instead assumes that reality is constructed by people. They have the ability to build problems as well as find solutions, and also enhance their lives in a better way.
The focus of this approach is on finding solutions and henceforth there is a great emphasis on the counsellor’s use of language, which is used in a positive and encouraging manner (Hough, 2006). According to Hough (2006) there are four main key elements of SFBT. Firstly, it encourages the client to think in terms of mental wellbeing and finding solutions to the difficulties they experience. Secondly, it emphasizes health rather than psychopathology and eventually encourages a focus on achieving a more positive goal. Thirdly, a small change acts as a catalyst for bigger changes. And finally, each client is unique and they know their situations better than anyone else.
SFBT is build up by many concepts ,assumptions and principles. These plays a vital role during the counselling therapy. Some of which includes to join the client, hear out the client’s definition of the problem, allow the client to set his own desired outcomes, Identify solutions, and finally, developed an action plan.
Firstly, a rapport must be established between the client and the counsellor during the first session. The counselor abides a non-knowing position because the client is the expert, and hence the counselor listens and accepts the clients perception of the situation, and also projects a great level of optimism and confidence.
Secondly, hearing out the client’s definition of the problem, what is the actual problem and normalize the problem into a positive and solvable complaint. If there are many issues, then prioritize the problems one at a time and find solutions.
Thirdly, the counselor helps the client to set his own desired goal. By using technique such as the Miracle Questions, the client is able to discover new goals. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.
Fourthly, identify solutions. By creating goals, the client is asked to identify possible solutions that could help him/her reach the desired outcomes. Techniques such as open ended questions are usually used. Example of open ended questions are scaling questions, exceptions questions, questions about pass success, coping questions and complimenting the client.
And finally, developed an action plan. The client designs and performs small homework tasks in order to allow change for a better future.