Shannon M. Duffy, MFT, LCPC

Reaching out for therapeutic services can feel overwhelming and at times individuals will feel as though their presenting concerns are not severe enough for long term therapy. However, that is not necessarily the case and even the more situational concerns are appropriate for therapeutic services. Specifically, those concerns would be utilizing the therapeutic technique of Solution Focused Therapy. This method can be of benefit by utilizing 3-6 therapy sessions to address finding solutions to presenting concerns rather than reside in the past concerns. This short-term form of therapy focuses on the present moment and not dwelling over every detail of the problem or history. There are numerous components to this approach that are valuable to the individual and a great resource into therapy where the individual can feel success by finding solutions and then can decide if long term therapy would still be beneficial.

Ideally, this approach is used when the individual is looking for strategies and tools for their current stressors. Examples of concerns that would be appropriate for Solution Focused Therapy would be for stress management, communications concerns, decision making, life transitions, etc. The focus of therapy is in wanting to make changes and to embrace the changes. Everyone has their own strengths and skills to solve their own problems, however, utilizing a therapist trained in Solution Focused Therapy can aid in creating more confidence and resilience to apply those strengths to obtain better balance to leverage these situations. Creating your own goals and framing your future will aid as you prepare to find solutions and build upon internal and external changes. An individual will establish goals to accommodate a solution to the issue, such as concurring your fear of speaking in public, being more assertive in communication or strategies on how to appear more confident at your place of employment. Therapy will be structured around establishing those goals, obtaining skills to gain a sense of control and taking steps to achieve them in a short-term duration.

Solution Focused Therapy meets you where you are without judgment or consequence. By being more in the moment the individual can engage in more critical thinking. Visualizing how things can be better and focusing on the changes. One specific technique in Solution Focused Therapy is in using the “miracle question” in asking the individual to think about what life would look like if the problem was not there or if the solution successfully worked to their liking. This question can open an individual’s mindset towards creating change and feeling optimistic about the changes they are implementing. Applying the miracle question can also aid in following through with the making changes as you see the result as positive and can fuel off that motivation to start to take steps to reach your specific goals.

If you have an issue you can’t seem to solve on your own, you may consider consulting a Solution-based therapist. If you are desiring change and want to focus more on the present and future, then this type of therapy could be beneficial for you. Solution Focused Therapy can address the positives and successes you already encompass and continue the focus on making positive and life changing results.