When clients are focused on changing the negative aspects (or problems) in their lives, positive changes can often be overlooked, minimised or discounted due to the ongoing presence of the problem. The solution focused approach challenges counsellors to be attentive to positive changes (however small) that occur in their clients’ lives. Questions that presuppose change can be useful in assisting clients to recognise such changes.

Questions such as, “What’s different, or better since I saw you last time?” This question invites clients to consider the possibility that change (perhaps positive change) has recently occurred in their lives. If evidence of positive change is unavailable, counsellors can pursue a line of questioning that relates to the client’s ability to cope.

Questions such as:

  1. “How come things aren’t worse for you?
  2. What stopped total disaster from occurring?
  3. How did you avoid falling apart?

These questions can be followed up by the counsellor positively affirming the client with regard to any action they took to cope. (Geldard & Geldard, 2005)

Learn more about the Solution Focused approach:

  1. Overview
  2. Demonstrative Video
  3. Case Study