FRHD*3400 Chapter summary
Ch 10 – Additional Readings:
Solution – Focused brief therapy began in the 1980’s under the leadership of Steve de Shazer.
De shazer found the work of Milton Erickson instructive. Erickson discussed the importance of
client being open to change and possibilities. He also though clients would benefit more if
practitioners used what the clients presented and focused on the present behaviour rather then the
Solution- focused counseling concentrates on solutions rather than problems. Counsellors begin
treatment by asking clients to observe what was happening in their lives that they wanted to
continue. The question helps focus on what has gone right in the client’s life rather than what has
gone wrong. These things the client is doing that are effective become the building blocks of
therapy. Counseling is brief with progress being measured by the results achieved instead of by
the number of sessions. Solution-focused counseling is founded on the idea that talking about
positive parts of the client’s life builds self-worth, creates optimism and begins a change process
that starts with existing strengths and resources.
Solution oriented therapy: developed my O’Hanlan, is based on the same premise but is more
flexible about the time spent talking about problems. In solution-oriented therapy most of the
time is spent on solution talk. However the solution oriented counselor also believes that hearing
about the client’s distress should be included in therapy, so the discussion about the client’s
challenges may take longer than in solution focused therapy.
Solution-Focused Brief Counselling:
- Counselors practicing solution focused brief counseling believe that people feeling
bad will continue to feel bad if they do not make positive behavioural changes in theri
lives. Discussing why people feel as they do will not help, neither will focusing on
unobservable elements such as feeling, motivations and thoughts.
- The Key to feeling better is to focus on ‘what’ people are doing that seems helpful
and set goals and plans on how to accomplish these goals.
- Counselors view their clients as being free to make choices
- People are also basically rational having the capacity to solve their own problems and
overcome the irrational influences in their culture - Focused on the idea that: Once you know what works and what does not work ,do
more of what works and stop doing what does not work.
Theory of Counseling: -
- The method of solution focused brief therapy is based on the theory that people will
respond better to building up the positive aspect of their lives.
- Every problem is view as having identifiable exceptions that can be transformed into
- Solution-focused brief therapists believe that people’s problems result from behaviour
based on their view of the world. Counselors use the client’s ideas of having their lives free
of symptoms to suggest changes
- Solution-focused counselors work within a collaborative model of interaction. They do not
consider themselves experts but believe they cannot know more about a client’s life than
the client knows. This puts the client at the position of ‘knowing’. The counsellor therefore
has to use skills such as echoing key works, asking questions, listening, getting details, being
silent, summarizing, and noticing hints of possibilities. Their primary goal is to create
conversations that motivate and mobilize.
- Counselors do not teach, interpret, train or give directions but focus on solutions.
- Counselors use active listening, empathy, questions, explanations, reassurance and
- Solution- focused counselling: assumes people have the capacity to change, but they have
lost confidence. Counselors presume that people are doing the best they can, and the gist of
counselling is to increase hope and optimism by building the anticipation of change no
matter how small. Counsellors listen and build on what the client wants. ; Counselors
believe change is inevitable and constant. They help people navigate a problem rather than
continually talking about past disappointments.
- Solution- oriented counselors: look for patterns of success in the lives of their clients.
Counsellors listen for subtle hints about success and then expan talk about those areas by
asking for more and more information.
Solution-focus Brief Counseling is based on the theory that goals need to be stated in positive
and observable terms to be effective.
Characteristics of well formed goals:
1. The goals must be important to the client, what they want to happen
2. Goals should be stated in interactional terms
3. Goals should include situational features to make them seem more possible. 4. Goals need to have desirable behaviours rather than the absence of problems. (goals such
as ‘you shall not’ have less chance for success than goals stated positively)
5. Goals need to be considered beginning steps rather than final solutions so the steps are
manageable and the beginning of something different.
1. Finding a solvable complaint.