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Solution Focused Brief Therapy


Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a strength-based approach to counselling based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. Unlike other forms of counselling that focus on present problems and past causes, SFBT concentrates on your current circumstances and future hopes.


SFBT is best when someone is trying to reach a goal or overcome a particular problem. It can stand alone as a therapeutic intervention, or it can be used along with other therapy styles. It's used to treat people of all ages and a wide range of issues including addiction, child behavioural problems, and relationship problems.

How it works


A variety of techniques are used in SFBT in order to identify a person's strengths, determine what worked for the person in the past, and encourage finding solutions to the current problems. These techniques can be grouped as coping questions, scaling questions, the “miracle question,” and the consultation break.

Coping Questions

Coping questions include several different forms of questions, all directed at identifying personal strengths and which types of coping behaviours have worked in the past for that particular person. 


Scaling Questions

Scaling questions are sometimes used to help the person monitor their own progress, describe their level of hopefulness, or evaluate their situation as a more objective person might. Scaling questions are also very useful for teenage clients who may have more difficulty describing their feelings or expressing their level of concern in more emotional terms.

The Miracle Question

The miracle question is a specific question which is used to identify the first, simple, realistic steps toward a solution that could be taken immediately by the individual.

Consultation Break

A common technique in SFBT is to take a break during the second half of each session and review what has been discussed so far. Shortly before the break, the person is asked if there is any further information that they would like to provide. During the break, they are left alone for a few minutes to reflect on what was already said



Research shows that SFBT can effectively:

  • Decrease addiction severity and trauma symptoms

  • Provide psychoeducation to partners

  • Decrease marital issues and marital burnout in women

  • Improve classroom behavioural problems in children with special education needs

  • Reduce externalising behavioural problems, including conduct disorder, and conflict management

  • Reduce internalising behavioural problems, such as depression, anxiety, and self-esteem


SFBT can be just as effective (sometimes even more so) than other evidence-based practices, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)









Solution focused brief therapy can be helpful in a number of areas but is also not suitable for others. If you are interested in SFBT please fill in the form below and provide information as to why you believe solution focused therapy would suit your needs. Alternatively you can contact me on the number at the bottom of this page.

Let’s Work Together with SFBT

Thank you for your enquiry


“You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

C.S Lewis

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