Student Name: Jessica Rosario-Valentin
Date: Thursday, June 16 2011.
Theory: Solution Focused Therapy
Leading Figures: SFT is attributing of husband and wife Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim
Berg, and colleagues at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the
early 1980s. Core members of the team: Eve Lipchik, Wallace Gingerich, Elam Nunnally,
Alex Molnar, and Michele Weiner-Davis. Also been credited Milton Erickson.
Key Theoretical Concepts: The Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is also known as Solution
Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and it’s defined by the emphasis on construction solutions
rather than resolving problems or looking for the problem that bring them to seek for help.
The therapy is a form of specialized conversations or talking therapy that is based upon
social constructionist philosophy. Focuses exclusively in two things: 1) Supporting people to
explore their preferred futures; and 2) Exploring when, where, with whom and how pieces
of that preferred future already happening.
a) Previous Solutions Question – previous solutions is something that the family has tried on
their own that has worked, but later discontinued; most people have previously solved
many problems, therapist help clients see these potentials solutions they may ask: Are
there times when this has been less of a problem?" or "What did you do that was helpful?
b) Exception Seeking Question - An exception is something that happens instead of the
problem, often spontaneously and without conscious intention. These are times when a
problem could occur, but does not. SF therapists may help clients identify these exceptions
by asking, “What is different about the times when this is less of a problem?” These are
times when a problem could occur, but does not.
c) Present & future focused questions vs. past-oriented focus - SF therapists are usually
focused on the present or on the future. Reflecting the belief that problems are best solved
by focusing on what is already working, and how a client would like their life to be, rather
than focusing on the past and the origin of problems. They may ask, “What will you be
doing in the next week that would indicate to you that you are continuing to make
d) Compliments - Validating what clients are already doing well, and acknowledging how
difficult their problems are encourages the client to change while giving the message that
the therapist has been listening (i.e., understands) and cares. Questions that invite clients to
self-compliment: How did you do that?”
e) Inviting client to do more of what is working – is called an experiment that usually is put
in place after SF therapists have created a positive bund via compliments softly invite the
client to do more of what has previously worked.
f) Miracle Question – This tool sound unusual, but is powerful in generating the first small
steps of 'solution states' by helping clients to describe small, realistic, and double steps they
can take as soon as the next day. The miracle question developed out of desperation with a
suicidal woman with an alcoholic husband and four “wild” children who gave her nothing
but grief. She was desperate for a solution, but that she might need a 'miracle' to get her
life in order.
g) Scaling Question - can be used when there is not enough time to use the MQ and it is also
useful in helping clients to assess their own situations, track their own progress, or evaluate
how others might rate them on a scale of 0 to 10.
h) Coping Question - is a powerful reminder that all clients engage in many useful things
even in times of overwhelming difficulties that require major effort. Coping questions such
as “How have you managed to carry on?” or “How have you managed to prevent things
from becoming worse?”
i) Problem-free talk: can be useful technique for identifying resources to help the person
relax, or be more assertive. Therapists also gather information in leisure activities, as well
clients’ values, beliefs and strengths.
Role of Therapist:
a) They believe that change is constant.
b) They 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 continues to happen.
c) Help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future of themselves.
d) Helps the clients to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future.
e) Examines what is different on these occasions.
g) Help clients bring the small successes of their awareness
h) Help the clients to repeat these successful things.
Goals: Focuses exclusively in two things: 1) Supporting people to explore their preferred
futures; and 2) Exploring when, where, with whom and how pieces of that preferred future
What creates symptoms? Basically is the need of the client to bring out a solution of his/her
problems by their own, but it’s difficult to do by the client because feel the lack of bring that
solution out. The need of looking for a solution for the circumstances or emotional situation
which the client going through, and could not handle.
Conditions of Change: Positive expectations, hope and motivation stimulated patients to focus
more on the healing process.