What is Solution Focused Therapy and How Does It Help?

The good news: there have never been more therapy options available to you.

The bad news: there have never been more therapy options available to you.

How do you make the right counseling choice for yourself? A great place to start is an approach that focuses on solutions! Solution Focused Therapy is here to remind you that you have faced and solved many problems in your life.

What is Solution Focused Therapy?

This therapeutic method focuses more on finding solutions than on the issues that brought you to therapy in the first place. Solution Focused Therapy:

•    Is a goal-directed approach

•    Shines a light on what is working in your life

•    Challenges you to see beyond current obstacles and recognize possibilities instead

•    Involves your therapist asking you questions with a focus on the present and future

These questions fall into categories like Scaling Questions and Coping Questions. Then, you have the Miracle Question.

Did you say Miracle Question?

Sometimes, things can feel hopeless. You believe you’re at the end of your proverbial rope. You feel you’ve tried everything. If someone were to ask you what you need, you’d likely reply: “I need a miracle.” This is the origin of the Miracle Question.

You’re in this situation, and you’re exhausted. So, you head to bed. What would it look and feel like in the morning if your miracle happened while you slept? That is your Miracle Question!

3 Ways the Miracle Question (MQ) Can Help

1. It shifts focus.

No longer are you neck-deep in a mess, the MQ gives you a break from focusing solely on the problem because it switches your attention to what is possible once your problem is solved. You shift from feeling stuck. And there are significant advantages in focusing on the positive and possible solutions.

2. It offers hope.

No matter how challenging a problem from your past may be, Solution Focused Therapy’s MQ allows you to visit your future without the problem. There are exceptions to every problem. In the future, you can go directly into the world of solutions and resources because the problem does not exist.

3. It points to your goals.

How you answer your MQ enables your therapist to set the course for your therapy. The shift creates the space for communicating differently about what you want instead of just focusing on what’s wrong. By creating a detailed description of your miracle, your therapist can have a better understanding of what you want as an outcome of therapy.

Scaling Questions

Another transforming option is a scaling question. Solution Focused Therapy believes that small change promotes bigger change. You are asked to break down your perceptions of your situation and rate them on a scale from 0 to 10. The numbers are used to help you start to gain a new perspective by breaking down your perception into numbers instead of just emotions or physical symptoms. Possible scaling topics includes:

•    Relationship Problems

•    Depression

•    Anxiety

•    Physical and Emotional Pain

•    Revisiting progress

Like the MQ, scaling questions help reveal to you and the therapist where your priorities lie.

Coping Questions

To complement scaling questions and/or the Miracle Question, your therapist may also pose coping questions. The goal here is to highlight your strengths, resources, and successes. Even when you’re mired in a difficult situation, it’s a revelation to hear: “What empowers you to endure and carry on?” or “How have you prevented this situation from getting even worse?” Your focus shifts to a positive angle. You can recognize in yourself:

•    Strength

•    Determination

•    Resiliency

•    Resourcefulness

•    Hope

Is Solution Focused Therapy Right for You?

Solution Focused Therapy is a powerful way to visualize a compelling future no matter what the present looks like. Talk to a therapist today to learn more!