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Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-focused brief therapy, or SFBT, is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that involves solutions and forward-thinking rather than focusing on the past. It’s a versatile form of therapy that addresses various problems within families, relationships, and individuals.

Our solution-focused therapy for women struggling with addiction often combines with other forms of therapy that we offer at our residential clinic.

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solution focused brief therapy

Our program is open to women of all ages and circumstances who need healing. We strive to create a safe and comfortable environment along with personalized, effective treatment programs.

What is Solution-Focused Therapy?

Some therapies can help you dive into the past and examine where your problems are, where they started, etc.

This is often necessary and helpful, but we also need to think about the present and the future!

This is where SFBT comes in as it’s more about setting future goals and solving present problems in your life. The focus is on your present situation and you will gain new skills, resources, and coping mechanisms that’ll help you as you move forward.

“Brief” is in the name because it’s often a short-term approach lasting around five to eight sessions on average – though it depends on how long each session is. Solution-focused brief therapy & counselling are a great option for those looking to address something very specific but need some help getting there.

SFBT was developed as a group effort by several people working at the Milwaukee Brief Family Therapy Center in the 1970s. Since then, it’s been found effective in treating many things, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Stress-related issues
  • Relationship or family problems
  • Child behavioural problems
  • Substance abuse and addiction

While it’s a great option for all of these things, it does have limitations. For example, it’s not best suited as the only treatment for severe and/or major psychiatric conditions such as psychosis. However, it can still be used as a supplementary treatment for such conditions to alleviate some stress and help the client become more aware of their own strength.

While therapists may take a varied approach with individual clients, solution-focus therapy operates on several core concepts/assumptions:

  • Emphasis on what is possible and changeable
  • Change is certain and constant
  • Clients want to change
  • Clients must create their own goals
  • Clients already have the inner strength and resources to solve the problem(s) at hand
  • The focus is always on the future and their history is not a key part of this approach to therapy

Following these things, therapists tend to focus on a few specific things in the sessions:

  • Ask questions rather than presenting answers
  • Work with what clients can do rather than focusing on what they can’t
  • Focus on the details of the solution and not on the problem
  • Reinforce their strength, resources, competence, and other positive qualities
  • Determine things the client is already doing that are helpful in problem-solving and finding solutions
  • Create an action plan that is reasonable and attainable for the client

Solutions-focused therapy for women uses a variety of proven techniques to achieve its goal. You’ll probably see your therapist go through some of these while focusing on the ones that work best for you:

The Miracle Question

This is a common technique where the therapist asks you to imagine that you wake up one morning and a miracle has happened – your problem has vanished. Then, they ask how you know the problem is gone, and what in your life has changed.

This exercise helps both of you to understand more about the problem, how it’s affecting you, and what can be done to overcome it.

Coping Questions

Coping questions are simply questions surrounding how you’ve been coping and managing thus far. Dealing with crippling anxiety, long-term depression, or addiction has a strong effect on your life and these questions examine how you’ve been living with them.

These questions will explore who and/or what specifically has kept you going through your struggles. This helps you identify resources available to you and may help you realize things you weren’t previously aware of.


This is a simple line of questioning where your therapist will have you “rate” the level or severity of certain problems or situations. This helps both of you to get a clear and accurate idea of where you’re at and what work needs to be done.

Some examples of scale questions include:

  • On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate your current ability to solve your problem/reach your goal?
  • What is your happiness level from one to ten?
  • On a scale of one to ten, how much does your substance abuse/consumption affect your marriage?

These are just a few options; the questions can be just about anything and will be tailored to your specific situation and goals. These questions bring your thoughts, feelings, and even confidence levels out into the open. This helps your therapist determine the direction of your sessions.

These are just some of the common techniques used in SFBT for women, but it gives you an idea of what the therapy is all about.

solution-based therapy for women

Solution-Based Therapy for Women

Our solution-focused women therapy takes place at our quiet and private facility in Northumberland County. Here, we accept only women into the program which is staffed entirely by women, as well.

We believe that this creates the best environment for safe and comfortable healing and recovery. With only ten clients at the facility at any given time, you’ll have privacy while also building a small network of community and support.

Our solution-based therapy for women is part of a comprehensive and versatile program. You can combine this therapy with other forms of therapy as well as many unique activities and holistic practices. We offer things like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and more to provide additional comfort and stress relief throughout your stay.

If you have any questions regarding SFBT for women or anything else we offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our staff will reply quickly and will offer as much help and guidance as they can!

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