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How-To Get the Quicker and Better Results from Short-Term Solution Focused Therapy

How-To Get the Quicker and Better Results from Short-Term Solution Focused Therapy

This article give you tips about solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) about how to use it to its fullest potential.

What is it Used For

The name solution focused brief therapy is pretty descriptive on its own. Its aim is to look for the practical solutions to problems that you may be having. The therapist will provide you with ways to handle situations that you may not have thought of, mental exercises you can do to help calm and focus your mind, and ways to combat depression. 

Brief therapy is good for targeting specific symptoms of a disorder. Major depressive disorder is one example. The therapist here would try to understand the symptoms you were having a depression. If for example, you were not sleeping and feeling sad and down constantly, the focus would be on ways to get more sleep, and then look at the thought patterns you have that contribute to depression. 

Homework is important

In SFBT, a great deal of the time spent in treatment is spent understanding the problem, and the coming up with ideas to overcome it. While figuring out ways to overcome these obstacles is part of the problem, the reality is that four or five hours in therapy is not enough to change habits you have had for likely years.

That is where homework comes in. Homework is the term that therapists tend to use for assignments they give to clients. These assignments are part of brief therapy, and they will tie into the skills you will be learning to overcome the symptoms you are having. So, part of SFBT is done outside of the therapist’s office and is vital to successful treatment that you practice these skills and tips.

For example, a person who has social anxiety might be afraid to be in large groups. With an office party coming up this could be disastrous. The therapist might come up with a plan, where that person goes out to a place in public. Then the next would be used to process that, look for what worked and what did not, and then plan the next task. Practice is the key here.

Be Specific

By now you have seen the word, “specific” come up several times in this article. Part of the success of SFBT is the focus on targeting the symptoms for treatment. Go in with an idea of what the specific problem is, and you will be ahead of the process.

In a couple sessions, you would be coming up with the specific symptoms that are the most difficult. You pick what you want to work on, so be ready in your mind with a couple of ideas that are most distressing. That can make the process go faster, and also give you more time to practice the skills you need.

Look for Exceptions

One final way to think about SFBT is that it is going to teach you to stretch your thinking, and look for the exceptions to the rules. In other words, look for the times when things went right. What happened that one day that you were able to get out of bed and go to work? What was different about that? 

Solution-focused brief therapy is best when you are able and willing to look for the times when things worked. Keep that in mind as that will likely be part of the treatment, and another way you can help yourself move through therapy quicker, have the exceptions ready to go in your head. If you do that, you can begin to figure out what made that different and start repeating more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Finding a therapist that can do SFBT may not be that hard. Look on Open Counseling to find one in your area. By doing brief therapy, you can find solutions to the symptoms you are experiencing, and start to feel better, sooner, and more affordability.

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Jason Simpkins
Posted on 08/11/2018 by Jason Simpkins

Jason Simpkins is a writer at Open Counseling. He is a clinical social worker in Michigan and is dedicated to having quality mental health care available to everyone. And as a University of Michigan graduate, he says a hearty, Go Blue!