Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT)

Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) In Vancouver, BC

Amplifying Strengths and Crafting Solutions
Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), also known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), is a therapeutic approach that emphasizes the client’s existing strengths and resources rather than focusing extensively on past problems or underlying pathologies. Developed in the 1980s by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, this approach is forward-looking, helping clients envision their desired future and identify steps to achieve it.

Key Points about Solution-Focused Therapy

Focus on Solutions

Unlike traditional forms of therapy that delve into the origins and details of problems, SFT zeroes in on finding immediate and effective solutions.


The therapy is predominantly future-focused. Clients are encouraged to visualize their preferred future and then work towards it.

Brief Interventions

Typically, SFT is shorter in duration than many other therapy types, with some issues being addressed in just a few sessions. The brevity stems from its direct focus on crafting solutions rather than dissecting problems.

The Miracle Question

A common tool used in SFT is the “miracle question.” Clients might be asked, “Suppose you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that your problem was resolved. What would be different?” This question helps clients articulate their desires and recognize the necessary changes.

Scaling Questions

These help clients assess their current situation on a scale, e.g., “On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst you’ve felt about this issue and 10 is the ideal, where are you today?” Such questions can track progress and instill hope.

Strengths and Resources

SFT emphasizes the strengths, resources, and previous successes of the client. The belief is that individuals have the necessary skills and strengths to solve their problems; they just need assistance in identifying and applying them.

Exceptions to the Problem

Therapists help clients identify times when the problem was absent or less intense. Exploring these “exception times” can offer insights into potential solutions.

Collaborative Approach

The therapist and client work together as a team. There’s a strong emphasis on mutual respect, with the therapist often viewing the client as the “expert” on their own life.

Constructive Feedback

At the end of sessions, therapists often provide feedback, compliments, and suggestions, reinforcing positive change and boosting clients’ confidence in their ability to manage challenges.

Adaptable and Versatile

While SFT originated in family therapy, its principles have been adapted for various settings and diverse client populations, including schools, businesses, and social services.

In Short

Solution-Focused Therapy offers a refreshing, optimistic, and expedient approach to psychotherapy. By spotlighting strengths and possibilities, it instills hope and equips clients with practical tools and insights to navigate challenges and craft meaningful solutions.