Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Delving into a person’s past a very popular step in treating mental illness. Many types of therapies advocate an honest dialogue between the professional and the patient regarding every previous experience that might have lent to their psychological disability. Nevertheless, there is a type of therapy that chooses to put more focus on a person’s present and future conditions. This forward-thinking treatment is called Solution Focused Brief Therapy.

``Around here, we don't look backward for very long. We keep moving forward – opening up new doors and trying new things. Because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.`` – Walt Disney

What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy?

As the name suggests, solution focused brief therapy or SFBT is a type of treatment that delves into the possible resolutions to the issues that prevent a patient from functioning to their fullest potential. SFTB is aimed at producing realistic action plans in the quickest way possible in order to provide patient’s lasting relief from their conditions.

Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg from the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee developed SFBT in the early 1980s. Berg and Shazer crafted SFBT after observing how much time, money and resources are spent in order to analyze the root of problems during the entire therapy process.

Since its development three decades ago, therapists certified in SFBT can be found across the globe.

How Does Solution Focused Brief Therapy Work?

SFBT is grounded on the idea that people, in general, are already aware of the best course of action to take in order to achieve their goals. Experts in this specific type of therapy work hand in hand with the patients in order to develop clear steps that would allow them to attain the future they want.

Initially, an expert guides a patient in developing a vision of the future she wants to achieve. Subsequently, they help in identifying the necessary abilities in a patient that needs to improve in order to attain the discussed future.

“When I let go of what I am, I became what I might be” – Lao Tzu

Certified SFBT counselors often use specific questions in order to navigate through an SFBT session. For instance, a therapist may ask his patient to imagine a life without having to deal with problems. Not only would this line of questioning reveal what is important to the patient, but it can also aid in formulating small actionable steps in achieving this life.

Who Can Benefit Most From Solution Focused Brief Therapy?

SFBT is recommended for people who already have a vague idea of what they want to achieve and how they can achieve it. Patients are considered experts on their issues and therapists merely serve as a guide as to how they would navigate through them.

This type of therapy has been used to help young people who are experiencing academic related anxiety. SFBT has also been proven helpful for couples and families that are going through a rough patch.

However, SFBT might not be enough to treat patients who are suffering from severe psychological illnesses.

Does Solution Focused Brief Therapy Work?

Despite thirty years of practice, SFBT remains a controversial type of therapy. For instance, a few SFBT critics claim that the hasty nature of the treatment makes it hard for therapists to emphasize with the condition of their patients. This may result in patients feeling alienated or misunderstood. Moreover, some experts believe that discarding past experiences in relation to the current issues simply does not give a clear enough picture of what a patient is going through.

Nevertheless, preliminary trials of SFBT reveal that people who go through this type of treatment achieve their goals more so than those who don’t.

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