Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a therapeutic model that is uniquely different from other treatment approaches currently used in mental health problems including substance abuse disorders. Based from the name itself, the model calls for the individual to focus on solutions and not on the problems. The responsibility of the therapist employing Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is to assist the individual in keeping his mind off the problem and more onto the different solutions that he may already have but is not really keenly aware.
Developed in the 80s by the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, the SFBT Model is a product of decades of observations of behavioral and mental health cases. The model argues that even a chronically depressed individual who may have suicidal tendencies do not necessarily mean that every single minute of his life was actually filled with depression. The model believes that there will always be instances when the symptoms will be almost negligible to the point that the individual can often let out a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, individuals often do not look at these instances as possible indications of the effectiveness of what they are doing – the solutions. They are not acutely aware that the resources available to them have always been there.
The role of SFBT therefore, is to help individuals become full aware of what they have been doing in the past that resulted in days or even weeks without symptoms or less severe problems. For example, an individual who has been thinking about suicide for more than 2 years simply means that he is doing something very effective that has managed to see him endure 2 years. SFBT attempts to help the individual recognize his feat – 2 years of fighting the idea of taking one’s life – and assist him in the identification of what could he be doing in the past 2 years that is making him hold onto life. The focus therefore of the SFBT Model is on the solutions and resources that the individual has already been using but is, unfortunately, not fully aware of it. The role of SFBT is to help individuals realize they don’t need huge solutions because even smaller events can eventually lead to spectacular results.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is always future-oriented. This means that it is a lot better for individuals to devote more of their time learning of ways to manage their problems. The past cannot be changed but the future has not yet been written. However, instead of learning entirely new methods, it is often a lot better to enhance already-present solutions because these are obviously effective. Unfortunately, many individuals are simply not aware of them. The SFBT Model also believes that human beings are inherently motivated to become better. They utilize all the possible resources available to them.