Is Solutions Counseling Right For Me?
Solutions counseling, also called solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), is a type of counseling designed to keep the conversation on the present or the future, rather than the past. Rather than mulling over past hurtings, sessions revolve around what is happening now and how to find the right approach to solving the problem. This type of counseling has many advantages for most people.
Find Your Own Answers
In SFBT, you're responsible for finding your own answers. You might wonder: If I can find my own solutions, what am I doing in therapy? Therapy makes a difference because the counselor asks you questions that help you realize you've already solved similar problems in the past.
Solve Problems Quicker
Usually, people only need a few sessions to figure out how to solve the problem that brought them to into therapy. Since past pain is left in the past, many sessions that would be spent in other types of therapy need not be addressed. This dramatically decreases the number of sessions needed.
Help for Overwhelming Problems
If the problem or problems seem overwhelming, the therapist can use a technique called Miracle Question (MQ). The MQ is a question that asks: If a miracle happened while you were asleep, how would you act differently in the morning? This helps you look at how your own behavior might make a huge difference in the way your day plays out. Therapists have used MQ successfully to prevent suicide because of its effectiveness.
The Therapist Remains Friendly and Positive
Throughout the sessions, the therapist will compliment you when you come up with good solutions and encourage you to follow your own advice. Instead of asking you questions designed to make you feel uncomfortable, they focus on your strengths and capabilities. They are there to make you feel better, stronger, and more in charge of your own life.
Alternatives to Solutions Counseling
Although SBFT works well for most people, there might be circumstances where it might need to be used along with other types of counseling. For instance, if you have suffered a great trauma that you can't get past, you might need to explore your feelings about that in therapy. Solutions counseling doesn't allow you to do that.
If you do need to talk about the past before you move on to the present and future, solutions therapy can be helpful when you're ready to put the past behind you. Online therapists who have an eclectic style might use other types of counseling along with solutions therapy when you're ready for it.