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Why I love Solution-Focused Therapy

October 9, 2017

Sorry for the long hiatus, my friends!  As I mentioned here, we are in the process of moving, and it has taken up every last bit of my free time.  The good news is, we are going to be all the way moved in this weekend!  Woot! I’m super pumped to be posting today about […]

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Sorry for the long hiatus, my friends!  As I mentioned here, we are in the process of moving, and it has taken up every last bit of my free time.  The good news is, we are going to be all the way moved in this weekend!  Woot! I’m super pumped to be posting today about the most effective therapy I use with my clients to get them feeling better immediately.  Because let’s be real…that’s what most people want!
Ever since I first heard the term “solution-focused brief therapy” back in grad school, I knew it was for me.  Obviously, we were taught about all different treatment modalities, and while I believe there is something beneficial in just about all of them, solution-focused therapy has always resonated with me in a way other therapies haven’t.
So what is solution-focused brief therapy?  Well, just as the name implies, it is focused on solving problems in a short period of time. Therapists use solution-focused interventions to quickly identify a client’s presenting problem, and, working together with the client, formulate workable goals to address said problem.  
In other words, solution-focused therapy is not:
Therapy that continues for many months or years.
Therapy in which a client vents for the entire session.
Therapy that produces no visible change or result.
Solution-focused therapy begins with the end in mind.  Beginning in the first session, I ask clients questions like:
“On a scale from 1-10,  how much is this problem is affecting you?”

“What would your life look like if you weren’t struggling with this problem at all anymore?”

“If you could have anything in the entire world, possible or impossible, big or small, what would you wish for?”

These types of questions help me get to the heart of the matter relatively quickly.  Why is that important?  Let me count the ways.

1.  Therapy is expensive.  Believe me, I get it. In my neck of the woods, therapy is a serious investment. So if I’m asking people to shell out their hard earned cash, I sure as heck better be able to make them feel better/allow them to begin solving their problems relatively quickly.  The good news is, I can and do.  Most of my clients feel more confident in their ability to handle their problems in 1-3 sessions, and all of my clients report feeling more at peace and more hopeful after the first session.  
2.  Therapy is a time commitment.  Therapists who don’t practice solution-focused therapy can see the same client for many months or even years before a client is ready stop seeing them.  Don’t get me wrong, I have several clients who have been through traumatic experiences that benefit more from a longer-term therapeutic relationship.  But for most people, 1-3 initial sessions is sufficient to begin solving problems and feeling better.  And for most people, that is music to their ears.
3.  Therapy still has a stigma attached to it.  This makes me cringe, for obvious reasons, but nevertheless, many people report not wanting to set foot in a therapist’s office because they are embarrassed or worried someone will find out.  Solution-focused therapy helps people get in, and get out, for lack of a better term. And by the way, there is NOTHING wrong with going to therapy. Going to a therapist doesn’t mean you are crazy…it means you are healthy and utilizing good coping.  IMHO, people who go to therapy should be celebrated as people who know how to cope with life in healthy ways!  Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.  
Hopefully, by now I’ve convinced you that therapy is great, and solution-focused therapy is the bomb.com.  If you’ve been considering seeing a therapist for any reason, I’d love to partner with you.  Within 1-3 calls, I’m confident I can help you learn healthy ways to cope with your problems and regain your peace.  If you are interested in scheduling a check-in via FaceTime, Skype, or phone, you can reach me here.  

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I'm Cathleen, your new (foster) mom friend.

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