Solution focused therapies are founded on the rationale that there are exceptions to every problem and through examining these exceptions and having a clear vision of a preferred future, client and counsellor, together, can generate ideas for solutions. Solution focused therapists are competency and future focused. They highlight and utilise client strengths to enable a more effective future.
Historically, psychotherapeutic approaches of the early-mid 1900s focused primarily on client pathology and problems. By the late 1950s a moderate shift in practitioner direction was occurring. Therapists were shifting from a focus on the past to a ‘here and now’ approach. Nonetheless the focus on client pathology and problems remained. By the late 1970s, practitioners, particularly family therapists, were taking note of their own biases.
Contextual factors became the focus as clinicians began to challenge traditional pathologising and power-orientated practices (Bertolino & O’Hanlon, 2002). Solution focused practice emerged with the idea that solutions may rest within the individual and his or her social network.
As postmodernism sparked questions about the superiority of the therapist’s position and the idea of a universal truth, the therapeutic relationship began to transform – the client now recognised as the expert in his or her own life. This created a more collaborative approach to counselling (Bertolino & O’Hanlon, 2002) and established a context in which solution focused practice could flourish.
Read more about Solution-Focused Therapy.
The following video incorporates a role play demonstrating the key techniques of Solution-Focused Therapy.