Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) puts you in the driver-seat as the 'expert' of your life. As the name implies, rather than focusing on resolving your problems, SFBT is intended to focus on your inner strengths or 'solutions'. It is, by definition, solution-focused and goal-oriented. This approach does not 'beat around the bush' and it aims to get to the point to uncover what you want as a client seeking help.
Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg were the main developers of SFBT in the early 1980s. It is based on the theory that people are generally solution-oriented; in other terms, people want to 'fix' their problems. The short-term nature of SFBT means that it is mostly focused on the present and future, as opposed to unfolding the past. Typically, this approach includes a brief assessment of your current circumstances to understand present functioning, goals, barriers, and your strengths. SFBT is a strengths-based approach that operates under the assumption that you already have strength, however, you may need help identifying and reinforcing them. Other components include psycho-education, goal-setting, motivational interviewing, and skills training.
SFBT can be used as a standalone therapeutic approach or it can be integrated as an intervention with other therapy approaches. Furthermore, it can benefit people in both individual and couples counselling.
Major Tenants of SFBT
"Find out what works, and do more of that." - Steve de Shazer
- De Shazer, S., & Berg, I. K. (1997). ‘What works?’Remarks on research aspects of solution‐focused brief therapy. Journal of Family therapy, 19(2), 121-124.
- Effectiveness. Research shows that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for issues related to mental health.
- Accessible. Accommodates those living in rural or remote areas, people living with disabilities that prevent them from leaving the home, and eliminates transportation barriers.
- Convenience. No need to schedule time for a commute.
- Cost Effective. Eliminates cost of parking and transportation.
- Coverage. Some insurance companies may not cover it. We encourage you to check with yours.
- Confidentiality and Privacy. Although we use encrypted, HIPAA-compliant software and abide by telehealth guidelines, communicating over the Internet entails a greater risk for security breach compared to in-person. It also means possible Internet connectivity issues.
- Distractions. Possibilities for disruption depending on your living circumstances and others in the home.
- Trust and Body Language. Some people may prefer viewing the entire body language of their therapist for more effective communication.
- Severe mental health or psychiatric concerns. A more appropriate and accommodating option for people that may need crisis intervention that is better supported with in-person care.
- Participation. It is an opportunity to engage in an activity outside of your home.
- Time consuming. Ensuring commute time may be challenging for busy schedules.
- Expenses. Possible parking and transportation fees.
All virtual sessions are conducted using secure, HIPAA-compliant software. Research has shown that psychotherapy offered through telehealth is an effective solution for mental health treatment. The efficacy of either option depends on individual preference and comfort level.