Solution-Focused Therapy: The Constructs

Solution-focused brief therapy is an approach to counseling that is brief and goal-oriented.  It focuses on solutions and exceptions, a time at which the problem is not occurring, as opposed to the underlying causes of the problem.  An example of an exception would be if the client suffers anxiety attacks, the exception would be at what instances are they not experiencing them.  This helps in developing goals for the client.  Focusing on solutions also allows the client to not dwell on the problem itself.  It proposes that change can occur quickly and will result in further change.  This modern idea is opposite to what many psychoanalytic theories propose and lends itself a different historical background.

Main Constructs

  1. The past is de-emphasized, as well as, pathological aspects.  There is a focus on the solution to the problem and the inherent strengths of the client (Brake, 1986).
  2. Change is always occurring and only a small change or goal is necessary.  This small change will result in a larger change in behavior (Brake, 1986).
  3. The solution to the problem is focused on rather than the underlying causes of it.  There is no need to research into childhood possible relationships to the current cause.  “It is future focused because it works with the strengths of those who come by making the best of their resources, and it can being about lasting change precisely because it aims to build the solutions rather than solve the problem (

Amanda Hamilton, LMSW


Brake, R.G.  (1986).  Solution-focused therapy, Main assumptions.  Retrieved from the World

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