Solution-Focused Therapy

Transform challenges into triumphs with Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Are persistent challenges and uncertainties casting a shadow over your life? Have you been searching for a positive and forward-looking approach to better understanding your problems? Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (aka SFBT, aka Solution-Focused Therapy) emerges as a beacon of optimism, offering a refreshing approach to problem-solving and personal growth.

In a world often fixated on the intricacies of problems, SFBT shines by focusing on solutions and possibilities. This therapeutic method invites individuals to explore their strengths, envision a brighter future, and embrace a positive mindset. Solution-Focused Therapy fosters change through goal-oriented approaches, helping you unlock your full potential and lead a more fulfilling life.

What is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is one of the world’s most commonly used therapeutic treatments (De Shazer, 2007, Hsu, 2011). Developed by Kim Berg, Steve de Shazer, and their colleagues in the late 1970s,  SFBT is a goal-oriented therapeutic approach that centers on identifying and building solutions rather than other traditional forms of therapy that focus on analyzing problems and life events.

It operates on the belief that individuals possess the inner resources and strengths needed to create positive change in their lives.

Therapists in Solution-Focused Therapy collaborate with clients to explore their visions of a preferred future and the steps necessary to achieve it. By focusing on current strengths, successes, and potential solutions, this approach helps individuals break free from the cycle of problem-focused thinking, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy.

SFBT is versatile and can be effective in addressing a wide range of issues. Some of the challenges and concerns that SFBT can help with include:

  • Relationship Issues: SFBT can assist individuals, couples, or families in addressing communication difficulties, conflicts, or challenges in their relationships.
  • Workplace Stress: Individuals experiencing stress, burnout, or challenges in their professional lives can benefit from SFBT to explore solutions and coping strategies.
  • Anxiety and Stress: SFBT can provide practical tools for managing and reducing anxiety and stress by focusing on coping mechanisms and building resilience.
  • Depression: While not a replacement for more comprehensive treatments, SFBT can complement other therapeutic approaches by helping individuals set and achieve small, realistic goals that contribute to a sense of accomplishment.
  • Parenting Challenges: Parents facing difficulties in parenting, communication with their children, or managing family dynamics can find SFBT helpful in identifying and implementing solutions.
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse: SFBT can be integrated into addiction treatment by focusing on developing strategies for change and building a future without substance abuse.
  • Grief and Loss: Individuals navigating grief and loss can benefit from the forward-looking perspective of SFBT, helping them envision a future with a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Low Self-Esteem: SFBT can assist individuals in identifying and building upon their strengths, fostering a more positive self-image and increased self-esteem.
  • School and Academic Challenges: Students dealing with academic stress, motivation issues, or challenges in their educational environment can find SFBT helpful in setting and achieving academic goals.
  • Life Transitions: SFBT is effective in helping individuals navigate major life transitions, such as relocation, retirement, or changes in family dynamics.
  • Goal Setting and Achievement: SFBT is particularly effective in assisting individuals in setting and achieving realistic goals, fostering a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

It’s important to note that while SFBT can be beneficial for various issues, its suitability may vary from person to person. The collaborative and goal-oriented nature of SFBT makes it adaptable to different contexts and challenges, offering a positive and forward-looking perspective in the therapeutic process.

Working with a therapist can help you uncover and amplify your strengths, set achievable goals, and collaboratively navigate towards practical solutions to enhance your well-being.

Why Might Solution Focused Brief Therapy Work for Me?

When in pursuit of solutions, getting caught up in the minor details may not always be advantageous. If you are after results, it can often be frustrating to focus on the why or how things became issues in the first place.  

This notion forms the foundation of Solution-Focused Therapy, where the focus often centers on uncovering solutions rather than extensively scrutinizing the nuances of the problem. For many individuals, the priority is to discover practical resolutions rather than becoming deeply involved in a detailed examination of the issue.

Solution-Focused Therapy is unique in that it shifts the therapeutic focus from dwelling on problems to discovering and amplifying solutions. In a time-efficient and empowering manner, this approach enables individuals to identify their strengths, set achievable goals, and cultivate a positive mindset. By emphasizing what is working and exploring possibilities for positive change, Solution-Focused Therapy equips individuals with practical tools for navigating life’s challenges and fostering resilience.

How Does Solution Focused Therapy Work, What Can I Expect from SFBT?

Our SFBT sessions are tailored to help you identify and expand your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a roadmap for positive change. Whether you’re facing personal, relational, or professional challenges, Solution-Focused Therapy offers a collaborative and forward-looking space where you can harness your inner resources to overcome obstacles and create a more satisfying life.

In SFBT, therapists adopt a collaborative and goal-oriented approach to help individuals identify and work towards solutions. Here are some key actions a therapist typically takes during SFBT sessions:

The therapist collaborates with the client to identify specific and achievable goals for therapy. These goals are often focused on solutions, positive changes, and the desired future rather than dwelling on problems.

Therapists actively inquire about the client’s strengths, abilities, and resources. By emphasizing existing capabilities, SFBT aims to build a foundation for creating solutions.

Therapists help clients identify exceptions or instances when the problem is less prevalent or absent. This exploration helps highlight times when the client’s strategies or strengths have been successful.

Therapists use scaling questions to measure the client’s perception of progress. Clients may be asked to rate their current situation on a scale, and discussions center around what would move them closer to their preferred outcome.

A key technique in SFBT involves asking the “Miracle Question,” inviting clients to envision a future where the problem has miraculously disappeared. This helps elicit specific details about the client’s desired outcomes and goals.

Therapists provide feedback and reinforcement for any positive changes or progress made by the client. Celebrating even small successes contributes to the overall positive focus of SFBT.

SFBT emphasizes a collaborative and respectful therapeutic relationship. Therapists work alongside clients, respecting their expertise in their own lives, and fostering a partnership in the therapeutic process.

SFBT is often a brief and solution-focused approach, so therapists may work towards closure by summarizing progress and discussing potential homework assignments or actions the client can take between sessions to further their goals.

How Therapy can help with body image, body image therapy

By actively engaging clients in focusing on solutions, strengths, and positive changes, therapists in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy help individuals shift their perspective and work towards the desired outcomes efficiently.

If you’re seeking support and looking to achieve positive change, our skilled therapists are committed to helping you navigate life’s challenges through Solution-Focused Therapy. For more information about our approach or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today

Contact us to Book an Appointment or Consultation

Your First Step to a Path Made Clear

Picture of Caroline Brousseau - MSW, RSW
Caroline Brousseau - MSW, RSW

Caroline has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Ottawa and is a member of the OCSWSSW. Caroline has 19 years of counselling experience and has completed numerous additional postgraduate studies and trainings in Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Integration, Impact Psychotherapy, Crisis Intervention, Critical Incident Stress Management, Art Therapy

Our Therapists

Book an Appointment or Consultation With One of Our Certified, Trained and Experienced Therapists 

Local Therapist, Kitchener Waterloo Counselor, Kait Stamcos, MSW RSW

Kait Stamcos

Registered Social Worker,

Kait's commitment to tailoring approaches to each client ensures a personalized therapeutic experience, fostering growth and resilience

Therapist, Counselor, Megan Hendry, MSW RSW

Megan Hendry

Registered Social Worker,

Megan is deeply honoured and grateful to have the beautiful opportunity to walk alongside and support her clients as they face some of life’s gravest obstacles, and help to promote healing and lasting change within their lives

Therapist, Counselor, RSW, Trillium Counselling, Psychotherapist, Caroline Brousseau

Caroline Brousseau

Registered Social Worker,

I will help you feel proud to be who you are, and work towards a solution that is adapted to your own specific personality, values and dreams

Registered Therapist, Kitchener Waterloo Counselor, Brianna Comeau, MSW RSW

Brianna Comeau

Registered Social Worker,

I am passionate about empowering clients to embark on a journey of self-discovery, helping them navigate their innermost aspirations, and working together in a collaborative partnership towards meaningful personal growth

Therapist, Counselor, Katelyn Regier, MSW RSW

Katelyn Regier

Registered Social Worker,

I strongly believe that everyone has the capacity for change already within themselves – I aim to empower individuals towards their unique goals in ways that are meaningful to the life they want to live

Psychotherapist - Bradley Vasquez

Bradley Vasquez

Registered Psychotherapist

Brad believes that people are capable for change and have the strength to do so within themselves. He is thankful for the opportunity to work with clients in achieving their goals and supporting them throughout their journey

Amy - Clinical social worker MSW RSW

Amy King

Registered Social Worker,

Whatever your goal for therapy, Amy’s down to earth, client-centered, collaborative approach will help you work through the changes that you want to bring to your life, while developing deeper insight and strengthening resilience.

Registered Psychotherapist, Counselor, Catherine Lynn Roach, RP

Catherine Lynn Roach

Registered Psychotherapist

My goal as a therapist is to help my client’s reach the goals that are important to them. I am passionate about helping my clients feel safe enough to explore their concerns and how together we can achieve their goals

Local Therapist, Kitchener Waterloo Counselor, Kisha Elliston, MSW RSW

Kisha Elliston

Registered Social Worker

Let’s not leave anyone out. Let us remember to extend a loving hand and remember that this journey called life is hard. I want to be alongside you in hopes to remind you of the beauty and strength that still exists within yourself, and within life. Together we can restore hope, restore faith, and restore love

Local Therapist, Kitchener Waterloo Counselor, Megan Pass MSW RSW

Megan Pass

Registered Social Worker,

It is an honor to be in a position to support and empower people when they are vulnerable by helping them recognize their own strengths and teach healthy coping skills

Therapist - Devon Jorge

Devon Jorge

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist & Clinical Director

My passion for truly understanding people’s personal experiences, feelings and their challenges go back as far as I can remember, and allows me to provide the best support possible during times of need

Therapist, Counselor, Milena Urbanajc, MSW RSW

Milena Urbanajc

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

We all aim to live life to the fullest, but sometimes there is something that may be holding us back, and this is what we aim to work out in therapy