Solution- focused therapists understand that many clients come to their office expecting (and sometimes dreading) to have to tell the whole story of their problem, with a detailed history of why they are the way they are and how they’ve gotten themselves into such a predicament. A solution- focused therapist also anticipates clients leaving the office after the first session often saying things like, “I’m so relieved I didn’t have to tell you my life’s story,” and, “I didn’t think I’d be doing something about this so soon.”

This is because solution-focused therapy (SFT) is philosophically different than the psychodynamic therapies that have evolved from Freud’s emphasis on repression and the unconscious. SFT emphasizes change from the start. There is little emphasis placed on the “hows and whys” of the problem, none at all placed on labeling the “pathology,” and more attention given to “what will be different when therapy is over.”

Although SFT is unique in many regards, it’s important to identify several truths that cut across all therapeutic models:
· Research shows most clients benefit from therapy of any kind.
· Unless clients feel connected with their therapist, therapy will have little value.
· No matter what model the therapist uses, no matter how brilliant he or she is, the most important variable in therapy is what the client brings. If she’s motivated, change occurs readily; if not, it’s a struggle.

If your therapist does the following he/she is Solution-Focused.

· Solution Focused therapists (SFTs) are pragmatic and focus on what helps to alleviate the problem.
· SFTs believe clients know best about what they need.
· SFTs emphasize the present and future.
· SFTs support clients to draw upon the strengths and resources they bring to therapy.
· SFTs believe change is inevitable and that it can occur rapidly and spontaneously.
· SFT takes clients literally and at face value.
· SFT seeks small and measurable change, often in behavior.

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Author's Bio: 

Jeffrey Goldman, LCSW, BCD
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