The basic ideas for solution-focus brief therapy began over 30 years ago. Steve de Shazer became interested in what people do that help them find solutions to the problems that brought them into his office. This was a very different way of thinking about therapy (it still is). Most therapy is practiced from a theory. So the client is viewed through the lens of the therapist's theoretical orientation. What de Shazer was doing was very different; he was learning what works from clients who were figuring things out. De Shazer learned to ask useful questions and these questions helped the client think in more positive and useful ways about their predicaments. As he developed these useful questions from the clients, he applied them to other clients keeping the ones that work. Later with his wife, Insoo Kim Berg, and other therapists at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they continued to research and develop the solution-focused approach. Finally in 1982, they called what they were doing, solution-focus brief therapy. I think a useful way of grasping what solution focus is about is to imagine that someone says to a therapist that they have a problem 98% of their waking hours. The traditional therapist who might practice from a problem focused approach would want to know a lot about the 98%. The solution-focused therapist would be interested in the 2%.
Joel Simon, LCSW, ACSW, BCD
Joel has been in clinical social work practice for over 40 years in a variety of both inpatient and outpatient settings. He has been a solution-focused practitioner, trainer, presenter, and consultant since 1992. Joel attended 3 advanced solution-focused trainings at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of solution-focused brief therapy. He is a founding member of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association. Currently, Joel is in private practice, provides solution-focused training, supervision, and consultation. Joel co-authored several articles on solution focus including two with Insoo Kim Berg. Joel has authored and co-authored 3 books on solution-focused topics. Please visit www.0to10.net for further information.
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