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More on Solution-Focused:

  • An evidenced-based practice that aims to build solutions

  • Builds hope and self-efficacy by focusing on your strengths and prior successes  

  • In alignment with the positive psychology movement, in which well-being is highlighted rather than pathology

  • Paying attention to what works and doing more of it, and when things are not working, doing something different (de Shazer 1985).

  • Developed inductively based on 30 years of sessions - Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer watched and videotaped hundreds of sessions with patients, closely observing what works, what questions are helpful, and what techniques and skills promote positive change in patients (de Shazer 1988; de Shazer et al. 1986).

  • Used successfully for a variety of patient issues, including substance abuse, trauma and sexual abuse, anxiety and depression.

A Typical Session May include:

  • Noticing incremental changes from last session

  • Highlighting exceptions – times the problem did not occur or was less severe

  • Building on personal strengths and uncovering potential hidden resources – where do you get your strength? How have you coped?

  • Increasing relational strengths – Who are important people in your life? How do you cultivate these relationships?

  • Outlining your goals – What is your preferred future? How will things be different and in what ways? How will you know when you are getting closer?

  • Scaling questions – If 10 is when you have arrived at this goal and 1 is the opposite, where are you now?  What would make the number one point higher?

  • Committing to an incremental change for next week.