Founder, Description, Philosophy

Solution focused therapy is a brief form of therapy that was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and colleagues in the 1970s. The basic premise is that all clients have some knowledge of what would improve their life even though they may need some help describing and envisioning what a better life for them would be. It assumes that those who seek therapy already possess the basic skills necessary to create solutions. Solution-focused therapy is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions rather than the causes of the issue. Solution focused therapy is considered one of the leading schools of brief forms of therapy. It is a  practical, goal-driven model, and emphasizes clear, concise, and realistic goal setting.

What type of problems is this approach used to treat and what populations can it serve?

Solution-focused therapy is used with people of all ages, and several issues including child behavioural problems, family issues, domestic or child abuse, addiction, relationship issues, and can be used to improve the quality of life for people with psychiatric disorders like depression or schizophrenia.

What does this approach look like in practice? What are some types of interventions?

Solution-focused therapy can be used on its own or as a tool with other forms of therapy and treatments. Therapists using this form of therapy will typically begin by helping the client clarify what their goals are, what the client hopes to get out of working with a therapist, and how life would change in taking the necessary steps to resolve their problems. The therapy encourages creative thinking, setting goals, and developing clear plans for reaching those goals and changing the clients life for the better. Other interventions include exploring previous attempts to solve problems, looking for exceptions to problems, focusing on the present and the future, and assessing coping skills.



Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy