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Solution Focused Therapy

Solution Focused therapy takes a here-and-now approach that emphasises the present and future. Rather than focus on problems, therapists will attempt to engage the client in conversation about potential solutions, operating from the viewpoint that change is not only possible but inevitable. It is a distinctly positive approach to psychotherapy.


Solution Focused Therapy originated from the theories of psychotherapists working at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee. These included Steve de Chazer, Insoo Kim Berg, Yvonne Dolan and Bill O’Hanlan. They were heavily influenced by the work carried out the Mental Research Institute at Palo Alto during the 1950s, and they contributed significantly to the practice of modern therapy.


Solution Focused Brief Therapy is part of the Systems approach. Therapists encourage the client to talk about solutions and believe that spending too much time on problems contributes to their perpetuation, thus distracting the client from formulating solutions to their issues.

How can Solution Focused Therapy Help?

The approach is used as a type of family therapy. It is also effective at treating common emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression and relationship issues. It aims to help people to gain more self-awareness and attempt to make life transitions.

Useful Resources for Solution-Focused Therapy

Brief Family Therapy Center

Brief Therapy Practice

United Kingdom Association For Solution Focused Practice