Articles

(1) A Brief Introduction to Solution Focused Brief Therapy through the comparison with other traditional approaches
by Eva Golding

…The emergency of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) seems inevitable for it serves to challenge existing approaches or even to bring forth a therapy model that is more appropriate for the needs of today’s society. This implies the differences of SFBT from the traditional ones….Simply by comparing SFBT with the 3 main traditional models i.e. Psychodynamics, Humanistic and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, one would then realise the ‘why and what’ of the Solution Focused Approach….read full article

(2) A brief history of the solution-focused approach
by Coert Visser (2008) (coert.visser@planet.nl)

The solution-focused approach which is now a well-known approach in psychotherapy and coaching was developed in the 1980s by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their colleagues of the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in Milwaukee. This article describes the history of the development of the approach starting with a description of the work of predecessors such as Milton Erickson, Gregory Bateson, Don Jackson, Jay Haley, John Weakland and Paul Watzlawick. Then, the article describes in detail the way in which the therapists of BFTC developed well known interventions such as scaling questions, the miracle question, coping questions and many of the other well known techniques of the solution-focused approach….read full article

(3) 21 Solution-Focused Techniques
by Coert Visser (2011) (coert.visser@planet.nl)

Several informal surveys have given an impression of the relative popularity of different solution-focused techniques. The 21 techniques described in this article seem to belong to the most well-known and popular solution-focused techniques: scaling questions, the past success question, the preferred future question, the platform question, the exception seeking question, reframing, indirect compliments, the miracle question, summarizing in the words of the client, the what-is-better question, normalizing, the usefulness question, the observation question, the perspective change question, the coping question, the continuation question, the prediction suggestion, leapfrogging, and mutualizing…read full article

(4) The ‘uncanny sense of self’, Solution Focused Practice and a theoretical rethinking of ‘the self’ in psychotherapy
by Dean-David Holyoake & Eva Golding

In an age where the proliferation of progressive Westernised medicine, philosophy and outcome-orientated psychotherapy march into all of our media-saturated lives, it is difficult to believe that a counter-argument could challenge the seemingly reasonable and core concept of ‘the self’. Yet, there is an alternative philosophy called Social Constructionism with an emerging associated therapy approach called Solution Focused Therapy that views ‘the self’ very differently from the mainstream humanistic essentialism ideas about selfhood. Solution Focused Therapy shares a
pedigree with narrative and systems approaches to counselling, with a primary consideration being the fluid nature of identity and the possibility of re-authoring alternative stories. This article aims to re-think some of the primary issues associated with the perceived centrality of selfhood in psychotherapy and to consider a ‘different
ending’ and choose ‘different characters’ in a story which allows for a ‘rethinking of possibilities’. Employing the sentiment of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) and his ‘uncanny sense of self’, the authors use some ideas from Hong Kong residents to help pick their way through the most poignant concepts to conclude that there is still a lot of re-thinking to do…..read full paper

(5) Identity
by Eva Golding

Identity is culturally constructed. We acquire our own identity through shared understanding of cultural practices i.e. the positioning of own gender, race, class and status etc, it is a positioning and classification of ‘self’ within these repertoires of cultural practices that we gain our identity… read full article

(6) Multiculturalism and Solution Focused Psychotherapy: an exploration of the none-expert role
by Dean-David Holyoake & Eva Golding

The role of the Solution Focused psychotherapist is less about confirming the rights of the client as an individual and more about amplifying their preferred social performance. The client, the therapist and the drama of therapy represent the object of this performance in which cultural meaning is simply amplified. The identity of the client is framed within multicultural narratives and discourse with which the psychotherapist grapples and strives to maintain a type of neutrality and equality, a relationship of non-expertness… read full article

(7) Unit 3: The Work of Language
By Louise Barnett

Unit 3 looked at the theoretical basis of Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), considering its philosophical origins and comparing it to other therapeutic approaches (psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive behavioural). The particular learning for me was around the importance of language, the words we use, their contextual meaning and the power they have to create different realities. Language is at the heart of the SF approach and this essay is an analysis of using language therapeutically with a client to co-construct a new reality… read full article

(8) Unit 3: The Work of Language
By Nahid Ahmad

The discourse emerged by the client describing through language what she constructed as her ‘problem’. The context of our social interaction also contributed to this construction. She had initially contacted me to say she was ‘stressed’ and wanted to talk. Our ‘session’ lasted approximately one hour over a lunch break. The client narrated her story, describing the incident that had happened with her father the night before…read full article

(9) Unit 5: Reflexivity
By Louise Barnett

Unit 5 introduced students to the idea of reflexivity, which I understand to be what is going
on in the space between two people, in the Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
context, that being between client and counsellor.
I personally have come to think of reflexivity as the largely unexpressed sub-text to the
narrative that takes place between client and counsellor. It is a sensed experience that
both parties have when talking to each other, that is a little out of reach and which can
supplement or perhaps drive the discourse and help shape the relationship…. read full article

(10) Making sense of a helping session using the Solution Focused Approach
By Roshna Mistry
What distinguishes SFBT from other approaches is its underpinning belief and its philosophy behind how ‘meaning’ is constructed and understood. Approaches such as the Psychodynamic and Humanistic therapies developed through the Modernist era, would maintain that meaning is ‘absolute’ and that words have the same meanings. However, those emerging from the Post-modernist time would argue against this and believe meaning is relative and can be determined by other terms. In SFBT, meaning is produced through carefully constructed dialogue between the counsellor and client. Here, we see a form of communication through language that encourages the client to think how they can change themselves. read full article

(11) A Personal Reflection and Future Projection
By Conrad Kinard
Certifying in Solution Focused Brief Therapy is probably best described as a life change for the better. My original intent was to learn a structure of therapy that I might apply to a project in aid of people dealing with the psychiatric system in western countries that I have lived in. Learning the therapeutic concept and how to apply it has taken me on a personal journey that I had not originally expected. The positive impact that I know it can have on clients is because of the positive changes it has brought about in me personally….read full article

(12) Pondering on thoughts of the future
By Katy Rainey Hemus
The Certificate in Solution Focus has really opened my mind to a lot of whole new experiences, thoughts and potential in the ideas I have had. The techniques have benefited my usual line of work in family support however having a drama background it has also made me think about….read full article

(13) A Learning Statement
By Brian Walsh
My journey through the Solution Focused Brief Therapy has been, for the most part, enlightening, challenging, surprising and at times, quite frustrating…..I’m unable to ‘un-know’ what I’ve learned on these weekends and I will explore the things I’ve learned in more depth as I go along, for now, though, I have to guard against being held back by my lack of understanding of the ‘back story’….read full article

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