Solution Focused Therapy

Solution Focused Therapy

Solution Focused Therapy

By Emily Peck, SSW Intern

Solution focused therapy (SFT) or sometimes called brief solution focused therapy is a type of therapy that is goal oriented and focuses mostly on the here and now. Unlike some other forms of talk therapy, SFT is not very concerned with past difficulties that brought the client to therapy, it is more concerned with determining what the client wants to get out therapy and work towards that. Counsellors who practise SFT believe that with some help their clients can identify their own answers and solutions to their difficulties (Ivey, Ivey, & Zalaquett, 2009).  In SFT goals are identified early and strategies for accomplishing them are the focus of the therapy (Ivey et al., 2009).

The effectiveness of SFT has been well documented. It has lead to significant improvements for participants after attending a SFT group, and has been found to be an effective therapeutic method for a variety of mental health difficulties (Proudlock & Wellman, 2011).  Newsome (2005) found that at-risk junior high students who were part of a SFT group showed social and behavioural improvements. Teachers and parents of the students also noticed positive gains in behaviour and homework completion (Newsome, 2005). Because of the clinical success of SFT it is an effective form of therapy commonly used today.


Ivey, A., Ivey, M., & Zalaquett, C. (2009). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society. Belmont, California: Cengage Learning.

Newsome, W. (2005). The Impact of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with At-Risk Junior High School Students. Children & Schools, 27(2), 83-90.

Proudlock, S., & Wellman, N. (2011). Solution focused groups: The results look promising. Counselling Psychology Review, 26(3), 45-55.




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