Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) or the solution focused approach, is one of a family of approaches, known as systemic therapies, that have been developed over the past 50 years or so, first in the USA and eventually evolving around the world. The name SFBT, and the specific steps involved in its practice, are attributed to husband and wife Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and their team at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, USA.
Core members of this team were Eve Lipchik, Wallace Gingerich, Elam Nunnally, Alex Molnar, and Michele Weiner-Davis. Their work in the early 1980s built on that of a number of other innovators, among them Milton Erickson, and the group at the Mental Research Institute at Palo Alto – Gregory Bateson, Donald deAvila Jackson, Paul Watzlawick, John Weakland, Virginia Satir, Jay Haley, Richard Fisch, Janet Beavin Bavelas and others.
The concept of brief therapy was independently discovered by several therapists in their own practices over several decades (notably Milton Erickson) and was described by authors such as Haley in the 1950s, but it became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Richard Bandler, John Grinder and Stephen R Lankton have also been credited, at least in part, with the inspiration for and popularisation of brief therapy, particularly through their work with Milton Erickson. While Jay Hayley and the team at the Mental Research Institute at Palo Alto aimed to uncover the principles that underpinned Erickson’s approach to brief therapy, John Grinder and Richard Bandler provided practical guidelines for the application of some of the hypnotic techniques of Erickson.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy has branched out in numerous ways – indeed, the approach is now known in other fields as simply Solution Focus or Solutions Oriented Therapy. Most notably, the field of Addiction Counseling utlises SFBT as an effective means to treat problem drinking. Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Solutions in Cando, ND, and many others, have implemented SFBT as part of their programmes – they use this therapy for both adolescents and adults.
Our aim is for this website to be a useful resource for all those working in the UK using solution focused approaches in their work to help people achieve their potential either as indiviudals or as organisationsf.Â We believe that SF is a powerful tool to achieve change or in the work towards recovery. The values of the UKASFP and therefore the values of solution focused practice are: collaborative and respectful; ‘non-expert’ in that the client, or clients, are the expert in thier own difficutlies and can find their own solutions; inclusive and affirming diversity; pragmatic and resourceful.
Links to many of the practitioners and trainers in the UK can be found on our Links page.