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Counseling Theories

Heather Ferencz

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of SFBT

can also be called solution-oriented therapy, solution-focused therapy, problem-focused brief therapy, or simply brief therapy
similar to Reality and behavior therapy by emphasizing behavior change as the most effective way to improve the lives of clients
contributions from Psychodynamic, CBT, and Systems theory also helped develop SFBT
Steve de Shazer, Bill O'Hanlon, Michele Weiner-Davis, and Insoo Kim Berg were the individuals who contributed most to the theory
SFBT is an emerging approach and does not offer a detailed understanding of human development, nor does it address how the past impacts present difficulties.
These omissions are consistent with the nature of the approach; de-emphasize the past and focus on the present situation
change is constant: things cannot not change
"a problem cannot be solved at the same level it was created"
1. Identify a Solvable Problem
2. Establish Goals
3. Design an intervention
4. Strategic Tasks
5. Identify Positive New Behaviors/Changes
6. Stabilization
7. Termination
client and clinician collaborate to create images of the client complaints that place the solution to the complaint in the client's hands; this gives them control over the solution
complaints are a function of unsuccessful interactions with others
a baseline must be established to note progress; this can be done with a scaling question
Goals must be specific, measurable, observable, concrete, and attainable.
goals typically take on one of three forms: changing the doing of the problematic situation, changing the viewing of the situation, and accessing resources, solutions, and strengths
using the miracle question helps the clinician establish treatment goals
"Suppose that one night there is a miracle and while you were sleeping the problem that brought you to therapy is solved. How would you know? What would be different? What will you notice different the next morning that will tell you that there have been a miracle? How would others know? What would they notice"

tasks given to promote change and then praise the client for their successes
Three types of tasks: A) if people are visitors or window shoppers without clear complaints, then only give compliments to the client B) if people are complainants, suggest observation tasks C) if people are customers, suggest action tasks
at this stage, clinicians serve as the cheering squad for their clients
after giving a client a task, the clinician questions the client focusing on the change that occurred and how it occurred
provide compliments and highlight areas of strength and competence
"How did you make that happen?
stabilization is essential to promote further success and prevent the client from getting discouraged if change is not occurring as rapidly as they would like
expect some backsliding as the client adjusts to the new changes
termination occurs once the client has accomplished their goals
people may return for additional treatment
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
By: Heather Ferencz
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy seeks out solutions rather than focusing on underlying problems.
Defining SFBT
people have the ability to resolve their difficulties successfully but they may temporarily lose confidence, direction, or awareness of resources
understanding follows rather than procedes behavior change
people's complaints involve behavior that stems from their view of the world; a view people maintain by thinking there is no other way to behave
positive change fuels people's belief that change can happen
View of Human Nature
Important Theoretical Concepts
Role of the Counselor
Stages in Treatment
Identify a Solvable Goal
Establish Goals
The Miracle Question
Designing an Intervention

draw on understanding of the client and their creative use of treatment strategies to encourage change, no matter how small.
Strategic Tasks
Identifying Positive Change/Behavior
Stabilization & Termination
collaborative therapeutic alliance with the client
phrase questions so that they communicate optimism and expectancy for change
empower the client to increase their commitment to change
communicate acceptance, promote cooperation
serve as as role model
create an environment conducive to change
helps the client to imagine that their problems are solved, instills hope, facilitates discussion of how to make the miracle a reality
the clinician must speak slowly, using an almost hypnotic tone of voice when presenting this question
can be adapted to be compatible with the client's concept of the divine
accept and use whatever the client presents as their answer

Fewer than 10, usually 3-5
sessions can be spaced out in intervals of one or more months; this gives the clinician the opportunity to develop the treatment (finding solutions pg. 365) and the client a chance to implement new strategies and allow change to evolve
Application and Current Use
clients must be motivated, flexible, and creative; good for those who are stuck in their behavior patterns
works with abuse, addictions, crisis, mandated clients, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, impulse-control disorders, severe and chronic mental illness, and even suicidal clients
multiculturally sensitive
adults, children, families, and couples
even be adapted for groups
unless clients and clinicians carefully co-create problem definitions, the focus may be concentrated on the wrong problem thus missing an issue of greater importance
not usually appropriate as the primary or only treatment for severe or urgent emotional difficulties
requires well-trained clinicians who are skilled and experienced
misconception that brief is all that is ever needed; always meet the client's needs
Strengths and Contributions

effective and efficient with a broad range of problems
well received by clients
addresses immediate problems while enabling the client to make better use of their strengths and resources in addressing future difficulties
previous research published on the outcomes with more emerging
treatment need not be prolonged and costly to be effective
create an environment that is conducive to change
identify exceptions to people's problematic patterns
use Solution Talk
make suggestions
give homework tasks
make solution prescriptions
help people get unstuck
Solution Talk
emphasize open questions
use language that assumes problems are temporary; presuppositional language
externalize the problem
normalize the problem
focus on coping behavior
reinforce and notice strengths and successes
create hypothetical solutions
concentrate on describing and changing behaviors
use rituals, metaphors, stories, and symbols
use words such as change, different, possibility, what, and how
use inclusive language like the word "and"
use reframing and relabeling
match the client's vocabulary style
Specific Interventions:
Full transcript