Solution Focused Counseling is a form of evidenced-based counseling and problem solving which targets the desired outcome of a situation as the solution, rather than focusing on the past problems or issues that brought someone into a counselor’s office in the first place.
In essence, the question or spirit of SFC is “What do you want?” or”How do you want your life to be?” “What needs to be different or change for you to be okay?”
The work then involves reviewing and dissecting the client’s vision (detailing what has worked before in the past), and determining what skills, resources, and abilities the client will need to learn and develop and use in order to attain their desired future outcome (whatever that may be). This is done through a series of specific questioning techniques, regular experiments, and scaled tracking in counseling sessions.
SFC draws on past experiences of clients only when clients feel that their past experiences are necessary and useful. SFC believes, above all else, that the client, rather than the counselor, is the expert on their own lives. The counselor’s expertise is in assisting clients in finding their own way to their goals and objectives.
By its very nature, SFC is collaborative. The role of the counselor in SFC is to listen to the clients problems, to help the client understand what has not helped in the past, to acknowledge the client’s struggles and triumphs to solve those problems, and to assist the client in finding new ways forward in dismantling whatever roadblocks may exist along the way to their objectives.
This technique only gives attention to the present and the future desires of the client, rather than focusing on the past experiences or failures (though it can be used to treat the consequences and repercussions of all of those things).
SFC believes in the inherent ability for people to affect change in their own lives, for clients to choose the changes that are right for them, and recognizes that clients come having unique skills and strengths that can be drawn upon, as they learn the other skills necessary to achieve their own personal goals.