Solution Focused Therapy is also called Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and is a short-term, goal-oriented therapeutic approach rooted in positive psychology principles. This evidence-based method places a higher level of importance on helping clients create solutions rather than focusing on problems. Essentially, SFBT fosters hope, evokes positive emotions, and is future-focused, serving as a tool for formulating, motivating, achieving, and sustaining desired behavioral changes.

This type of therapy is dedicated to finding applicable, realistic solutions for clients as quickly as possible without delving too much into your childhood or what created the problem. Brief-focused therapy can be successful for individuals, families, or couples

It can be used alone or together with other evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

How Is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Different?

In brief-focused therapy, there is a focus on the present and the future. Traditional talk therapy tends to explore the past to better understand the current issues you’re facing.

Solution-focused treatment is designed to be “brief” with a more singular focus. Traditional counselling can be experienced over a longer period of time and may include broader or adjacent issues. 

In brief-focused therapy, the client is the expert working together with the solution-focused therapist to develop goals and solutions. Traditional therapy relies on the therapist to be the expert helping the client to uncover their current issues and bring about results. 

Benefits Of Brief Solution Based Therapy

Brief Solution-Focused Therapy offers numerous benefits for individuals seeking therapeutic support. Its short-term nature makes it a cost-effective and time-efficient option, providing significant results in fewer sessions compared to traditional therapies. Clients have seen results in as little as 3 sessions, with most clients working with their therapist through 5-8 sessions to develop their solutions. 

SFBT emphasizes clients’ strengths and resources, fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience. By focusing on solutions rather than problems, it helps you envision and work towards a preferred future, promoting hope and motivation. This positive and forward-looking approach can lead to quicker, more sustainable behavioral changes. It can be highly motivating,  helping clients identify and implement strategies to reach their goals and improve their overall well-being.

Additionally, a solution-based therapy’s collaborative approach ensures that counselling is tailored to the unique needs and goals of each client, enhancing engagement and satisfaction with the therapeutic process.

Who Is Solution-Focused Psychotherapy For?

Solution-focused psychotherapy is ideal for individuals seeking a positive, results-oriented approach. It benefits those who prefer to focus on solutions and future possibilities rather than delving into past problems. It’s a good fit if you’re looking to address specific challenges and build on your strengths to reach your goals. 

a child works on home work and exercises for solution focused therapy

This therapy is effective for a number of issues, including anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, family dysfunction, domestic or child abuse, and stress. Solution-based therapy works well for a wide range of people, from those navigating everyday difficulties to those facing more complex issues. It’s also well-suited for people who desire a brief, empowering therapy experience that leverages their existing strengths and resources to achieve meaningful, lasting change.

It has also been found to be effective in addressing behavioural problems in children and teens and/or academic/school-related concerns. 

What is Solution-Focused Therapy Not Used For?

Generally, you can apply solution-focused treatment in many situations. It is not recommended for more serious mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis or major depressive disorder.

It may not be the right kind of counselling for you in you’re interested in delving into your childhood or deeper insights into the meaning of your life. Also, if you have multiple issues, a different therapeutic approach may be more beneficial. Our mental health professionals can guide you in the best therapy approach for the issues you are currently dealing with. 

What to Expect in Solution-Focused Psychotherapy

Solution-focused therapy starts with you envisioning your ideal future. Goal-setting is the cornerstone of SFBT.  Sessions will typically begin with one or more goal development question(s) and an exploration of how the client’s life will be different when the problem is gone or their situation improves. 

One of the initial questions a therapist might ask is the “miracle question”: “If a miracle occurred while you were asleep tonight, what changes would you notice in your life tomorrow?” This question helps open your mind to envisioning a plan to achieve your goals. Together with your therapist, you will identify small, practical steps to make these changes a reality.

A key principle of brief-focused therapy is the therapist’s positive, respectful, and hopeful outlook. Solution-focused practitioners operate under the belief that clients possess the strength, wisdom, experience, and resilience needed to facilitate change. 

Unlike some therapies, resistance isn’t seen as a negative.  What other therapeutic models might interpret as “resistance” is seen in SFBT as a natural protective mechanism or a mismatch between previous therapeutic approaches and the client’s needs. This perspective fosters a collaborative and supportive environment, rather than a hierarchical, therapeutic relationship.

Book Solution Focused Therapy in London, Toronto or Virtually in Ontario

Book your SFBT therapy sessions in London, Toronto, or virtually anywhere in Ontario. This brief therapy approach focuses on solutions to empower you to reach your goals and improve your well-being. Whether in-person or online, our skilled solution-focused approach therapists are dedicated to helping you harness your strengths and create meaningful, lasting changes.