Empowering Discussions

Focus on The Solution or Dig Up The Past?

I recently learned about Solution Focused Therapy.  Unlike traditional therapy where we look for problems from out past to figure out what is wrong, SFT instead looks for solutions. I think it is brilliant for two reasons. First, we seem to live in a society where nobody wants to take personal responsibility because it is easier to blame others.  Second, a lot of us are addicted to drama and what better way to bring up drama than to focus on everything bad in our past?  I am not saying that traditional therapy is wrong, in fact I think it is very important to learn what makes us tick and twitch. I just don’t think we need to do that our whole lives.

I know all the reasons I am the way I am, I don’t need to dig anymore into my past for some aha moment or for people to blame.  The past is there, it is a part of me, but I am done with letting it control me.

SFT was introduced in the 1970’s and “is directed toward developing and achieving the client’s vision of solutions.”  So instead of trying to figure out what went wrong, you try to figure out what went right before and what can go right now and in the future. My favorite part of the therapy is the “miracle questions”.   You are asked what would happen if you woke up and overnight the problem had been solved.  What would be the first sign that it was better and how would you react to that? This means that you have to use your imagination, something humans are not at all short on.  There is a great example of the MQ on this website: http://www.solutionfocused.net/solutionfocusedtherapy.html

 What is a problem right now you need to deal with?

Can you imagine waking up and having it miraculously solved?

What are the first signs it is no longer a problem?

How will you react since the problem no longer exists?


2 thoughts on “Focus on The Solution or Dig Up The Past?”

  1. Thanks. I like how you write it best, “While it is important to identify the cause of a problem, assisting others in moving toward a solution is the goal.”


  2. I agree Leah. When working with crisis intervention and trauma recovery, it is important to encourage participants to focus on a solution. Staying in a blame loop gets us nowhere. While it is important to identify the cause of a problem, assisting others in moving toward a solution is the goal. Excellent post.


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