As the name implies, solution focused psychotherapy is a type of therapy that focuses on creating solutions, rather than the problems that lead people to seek help.
It is a short-term therapy based on the belief that individuals have the ability and resources needed to solve their own problems.
Moreover, it believes that change is always possible and always happening.
The therapist aims to help the client see how this occurring in their life and bring about even more positive change. The emphasis is on the future rather than the past. It uses specialised conversations that are geared toward developing the client’s vision of solutions and clarifying ways to achieve them.
Generally speaking, the therapist uses a selection of questions and techniques to help clients identify positive solutions to effectively address problems.
Here are a few of the techniques that might be employed:
The Miracle Question
One powerful tool this therapy often employs is asking a person to imagine waking up tomorrow to find that their problem is gone. How would they realise something was different and what would they do that they didn’t do today? This can help people to envision behavioural changes and eventually implement them.
This type of therapy is based on the belief that most people have probably already solved a number of problems in their lives on their own. Questions such as: “What did you do in that case that was helpful?” or “Are there any times when this issue is less of a problem?” – can help people see potential solutions to the problems they face.
A previous solution might not always be applicable to a person’s current situation, but in most cases, there will be some exceptions to the problem they can cite. These are typically times when the problem in question could potentially occur but does not. Questions such as: “What’s different about the times when this is not as much of a problem for you?” can help people identify exceptions and use them to find solutions.
Scaling questions can be used to help clients assess the extent of their problems and measure any progress made. Clients might be asked to assess their level of things such as, happiness, confidence, depression, or career progress on a scale from one to ten, and this score might be revisited as time goes on.