Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Like other treatment approaches at Upaya, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is "evidence-based." What makes SFBT unique is that it is a short-term, goal-focused approach that helps clients change by focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. It is a hope-friendly, positive emotion eliciting, future-oriented vehicle for formulating, motivating, achieving, and sustaining desired behavioral change. SFBT was developed in the late 1970’s by Steve de Shazer (1940-2005) and Insoo Kim Berg (1934-2007).  


Although SFBT can be utilized to treat various concerns, it has been found most effective in treating depression, drug and alcohol use disorders, relationship difficulties, eating disorders, anger, and communication difficulties. Goals are set, then specific experimental actions are explored and deployed into the client’s daily life. By keeping track of what works and where adjustments need to be made, clients are better able to track their progress.

What techniques and questions can I expect? 

  1.  Looking for previous solutions: “Are there times when this has been less of a problem?”
  2. Looking for exceptions: An exception is something that happens instead of the problem, sometimes spontaneously and without conscious intention. 
  3. Present/future focused questions: “What will you be doing in the next week that would indicate to you that you are continuing to make progress?” 
  4. Compliments: Validating what clients are already doing well and acknowledging how difficult problems are, encourages change.
  5. The Miracle Question: "What would it be like if a miracle happened, if you were magically rid of your problem?"
  6. Scaling: Clients rate their level of motivation, confidence, and identify what specifically helps them progress on a scale (often from 1-10) in the direction of their goal, “best hope,” or “miracle.”

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Upaya Counseling


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8:00 AM-4:00 PM


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