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Christian Counseling for Individuals, Marriage and Families

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

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Christian Counseling


Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), often referred to as simply 'solution focused therapy' or 'brief therapy', is a type of talking therapy that is based upon social constructionist philosophy. It focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problems that made them seek treatment. SFBT was developed by Steve de Shazer, and Insoo Kim Berg, and their colleagues.The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start attending to any changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources.

Solution focused therapists believe that change is constant. By helping people identify the things that they wish to have changed in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue to have happen, SFBT therapists help their clients to create a vision of a preferred future. The therapist then helps the client to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is less severe, the therapists helps the client move towards their preferred future.


One way of understanding the practice of SFBT is displayed through the acronym MECSTAT: 


  • Miracle questions, 
  • Exception questions, 
  • Coping questions, 
  • Scaling questions, 
  • Time-out, 
  • Accolades,
  • Task.
Reference:
 

Corey, Gerald. Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. 6th ed. Belmont,CA.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2001.