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Clinicians can use Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) worksheets to effectively treat their clients. These worksheets provide clinicians with the appropriate tools to effectively establish a treatment plan throughout the therapy process.
What is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy?
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), or Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is a short-term future focused therapy. The goal is for patients to look ahead and create goals grounded in solutions for the future, rather than focusing on the issues that brought them to seek help. It was developed in the late 1970s through a collaborative opportunity at the Milwaukee Brief Family Therapy Center by clinicians Insoo Kim Berg, Steve de Shazer, and their colleagues. This clinic was an inner-city outpatient service center. During development, they spent years evaluating therapy sessions and focused on clinician-led questions, behaviors, and statements that resulted in a positive outcome of treatment for the patient. Their concern was discovering the “how” of treatment instead of the “why” behind the problems faced by the patient. What they found to be successful was incorporated into the SFBT/SFT approach.
SFBT/SFT therapy has held prestige among many diverse fields. Such as, social policy, business, criminal justice services, domestic violence offenders treatment, education, and child welfare. Aside from it being one of the leading schools of psychotherapy, it is also widely regarded as one of the leading schools of brief therapy and continues to grow in popularity due to its effectiveness in treatment.
How Does Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Work?
SFBT/SFT takes the time to analyze the pathology of the patients problems and past life events, then seeks to find a solution based on their present and future by establishing long-term goals for the patient. It can be used alone or accompany other forms of therapy treatments. The clinician works in collaboration throughout the entire process with the patient to set goals and execute the treatment plan.The ability for the clinician to empathize with the patient is critical when administering treatment. It is important for the patient to feel seen and heard by them in order for there to be forward movement and overall success. One step the clinician can take to ensure this deals with intentional body language. Leaning into the client as they discuss their problems shows them that the clinician is engaged in understanding what is going on and being said. Furthermore, emphasizing the patient’s strengths and incorporating them into their goals are important intervention steps. A clinician can do so by verbally acknowledging what is successful for the client already and utilizing them moving forward. Both empathy and recognizing strengths will increase the patients self-esteem and encourage forward movement in treatment.
There are certain questions clinicians ask their patients during SFBT. Below we will outline the the key questions of SFBT:
A miracle question poses the thought of endless possibilities on how the patient can achieve their goal. An example of a miracle question is “If a miracle occurred tomorrow that alleviated your current situation/problem, how would that affect your life differently?”.
Presupposing Change Questions
The aim for asking presupposing questions is to focus on positive changes, big or small. These questions help the client recognise the positive without focusing on the negative aspects of the problem they are facing. An example of a presupposing question is “What did you do to avoid unraveling during that time?”.
Exception questions are used to highlight the exceptions in the client’s life that coincide with the problem they are facing. By asking these questions the client must identify times that their recurring problem was either not present or was present and did not pose negative effects to them. These questions help identify present areas in their life that have given the problem less power over their mental and emotional state. In turn, this helps empower the individual to recognize that they have control. An example of an exception question is “What made that day a better day?”.
Scaling questions ask the client to rate their current issue at hand, and motivation to change the experience. These questions are a good way for the clinician and the client to gauge progress. After the client rates themselves, the clinician is able to pivot into a discussion. An example of a scaling question is “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would you rate your experiences today?”. After the client rates themselves, there is a follow-up question probing them to think about their rating. For example, “Why a 3 and not a 4, what can help get you there?”. During this process, clients are able to explore positive commitments to change.
Coping questions ask the client to discuss their ability to manage their own resilience to the problem. An example of a coping question is “What has been helping you manage your problem so far?”.
Which Conditions can SFBT Treat?
SFBT does not target a particular demographic. It can be used to treat all genders and ages suffering from a wide variety of disorders and situations. Below we will outline the conditions and situations SFBT can be effective in treating:
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Eating disorders
- Emotional dysregulation
- Self-esteem struggles
- Work and personal stress
- Relationship issues
- Family dysfunction
- Child abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Behavioral problems
- Communication difficulties
As aforementioned, because it can be used to accompany other forms of therapy, more severe psychological disorders like schizophrenia or psychosis cannot use SFBT as a stand alone treatment plan. When Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is used as an early intervention treatment plan for behavioral problems, it has found much success in preventing the problematic behaviors from becoming severe.
How Effective is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy?
Many studies have shown that SFBT is highly effective for a wide range of behavioral and psychological disorders. The effectiveness of this form of therapy is so popular that while it started in North America, non-Western countries have also adopted the practice. Interestingly enough, the amount of research behind SFBT in non-Western countries has doubled since 2013. Furthermore, follow-up research has shown that SFBT is effective in long-term reduction for psychological disorders such as, anxiety, depression, and mood related disorders when evaluating the patient one year past completion of treatment. Effective use of SFBT can yield desirable outcomes for the patient. Such as, freedom/management from psychological disorders, improved social lives, and overall life satisfaction and physical well-being.
Final Thoughts on Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an empirically validated form of therapy that has extensive research behind it. Due to its heavy emphasis on focusing on the present and future, it has found much success in treating patients long-term. Also, its ability to be compounded with other forms of therapy make its accessibility versatile. By focusing on the positive aspects that can help them combat the problem rather than the negative “whys”, clients are able to build their self-esteem. If you find an individual that exemplifies the characteristics of the conditions listed above, think of using SFBT to treat them.
Why SFBT Worksheets?
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) worksheets are tools used in therapy to help individuals identify and build upon their existing strengths and resources to achieve their goals. SFBT is a type of therapy that focuses on the present and future, rather than the past, and encourages individuals to focus on solutions rather than problems.
Some of the key benefits of using SFBT worksheets include:
- Identifying goals: SFBT worksheets provide a structured approach to identifying goals that are meaningful and achievable. By identifying these goals, individuals can begin to focus on the solutions and resources that will help them achieve their goals.
- Building on strengths and resources: SFBT worksheets can be used to help individuals identify and build on their existing strengths and resources, which can help them achieve their goals more quickly and effectively.
- Encouraging positive thinking: SFBT worksheets can be used to encourage positive thinking by helping individuals focus on solutions, rather than problems. This can help individuals feel more optimistic and motivated about their ability to achieve their goals.
- Improving problem-solving skills: SFBT worksheets can be used to improve problem-solving skills by encouraging individuals to think creatively and consider alternative solutions to problems.
Overall, SFBT worksheets provide a valuable tool for individuals looking to achieve their goals by focusing on solutions and building on their existing strengths and resources. By identifying goals, building on strengths and resources, encouraging positive thinking, and improving problem-solving skills, individuals can lead a more fulfilling life.
Why Our Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Worksheets?
Our Solution-Focused Brief Therapy worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Solution-Focused Brief Therapy to their clients more effectively.
Benefits of our Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
Key Features of Our Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
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