Northwest Brief Therapy Training Center
Olympia, Washington

Brief Therapy: The Solution-Focused Model

Why solution-focused brief therapy?

In an era of managed care, limited number of treatment sessions and emphasis on cost containment, solution-focused brief therapy offers a way to effectively work in an empowering and hopeful way, for both the client and the therapist. The solution-focused model has been applied in a wide variety of settings, including mental health centers, inpatient psychiatric units, chemical dependency centers, homeless shelters, child protective services, adolescent treatment facilities, HMOs and private practice.

Solution-focused brief therapy targets what works rather than what’s wrong. It is based on a non-pathology model that emphasizes the strengths and resources of client(s) in a collaborative effort to reach goals and resolve problems rapidly.

Originally developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and colleagues at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this method has found worldwide acceptance and has generated excitement and renewed optimism among front-line treatment providers everywhere.

Principles and techniques of solution-focused brief therapy lend themselves to integration with other therapy approaches so that a practitioner can make this method useful regardless of orientation. Below are links to solution-focused brief therapy documents.

Coping Questions
Deciding on a Task
Exception-finding Questions
Imaginal Exposure
Intake Form
Medication Questions
Miracle Questions
Scaling Questions
Second Session Questions
Treatment Goal Guidelines
Types of Client-Therapist Relationships
Working Assumptions for Children
Working Assumptions for Parents
Working with the Somatically Focused
Handouts in Turkish

For additional information on solution-focused brief therapy, the following Web sites are excellent resources:
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