In traditional family therapy programs, the therapist will have to identify what is “wrong” within the family for having their “issues” and then attempt to fix them. With solution-focused therapy or SFT, that is not how it works. This type of psychotherapy program will assist a family in recognizing their individual skills and strengths so that they could use it to formulate a solution to their problems.
If your problem involves others, having those others there with you in the room is a great way to cut to the chase and save time. More importantly, you have a safe and supportive place to get things off your chest, someone to help you both negotiate a solution, and a professional to help you both emotionally mop up. — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.
Explaining SFT For Families Further
Solution-focused therapy for families is a psychotherapy method that attempts to discover, improve and work on solutions constructed from the family’s mental (and physical) stamina, instead of acting on solving an issue, which focuses on the problems within the family and fixing their concerns. This therapy program is anticipated to be short-term, comprising of no greater than five meetings.
Moreover, solution-focused therapy is a great way to intervene initially if there are distresses within the family and it is best-used side by side with other types of therapy programs.
For example, Child #1 and Child #2 are always fighting. Let’s call it sibling rivalry. Their disagreements are causing great distress for the whole family, and so when they are pushed to do SFT, the therapist will not ask as to how the fights started. What the therapist will do is to ask them how to find a solution to end their quarrels right now. The goal is not to fight again, especially when it is petty since everyone in the family is affected by them. It will take a lot of patience and understanding not to speak ill so as not to cause fights. This is the process of looking for a solution.
Whatever the difficulties that are challenging a family, there are ways or exclusions that embrace the “seeds” of the family’s solutions to solving their troubles through SFT for families. Everyone in the family is participating in creating the goals of their psychotherapy, and with that, when all the goals are achieved, they will know when the program has done its purpose.
To understand more about solution-focused therapy, read this article.
There is no shame in changing and growing, and your work is to have compassion and openness for yourself as a fluid human being, and to allow this process to take place. — Jade Wood, MA, LMFT, MHSA
How SFT For Families Go On Every Session
The families will have to deal with how they are going to reach a specific solution to their ordeal during the first therapy session. They will not focus on how the problems sprung up in the first place which will then take up therapy time. In SFT for families, this is lessened. Families will then go straight on how to find solutions to their issues.
With that understood by all members of the family in therapy, the therapist will then ask questions like these:
- What is the ultimate goal of this family as to why you’re on treatment and why you’re working together?
- Do you remember the time when you have surpassed problems by working hand-in-hand? When was this and how did it happen?
- Are there good times in this family?
- What will you realize when you, your spouse, or any member of this family will direct himself to the life that you all want to possess?
By asking these questions, the therapist will then assist the family in creating an imagined scenario of an optimal solution. In that way, the family will look for ways to solve their issues with what they have with them – the value of understanding, patience, care, and love, for example. Ultimately, with this type of undertaking, the family will reach their goal. SFT is all about visualizing and working towards a solution to benefit the whole family.
Despite the considerable expansion of models of care that include caregivers, it remains the case that these services have substantial wait times and are often hard to access. — Dillon Browne Ph.D.
Some families visit their therapist periodically to touch base on their SFT program. Nobody is perfect, and at times, families do get into disagreements. To keep everything aligned once again, families visit their therapist for this specific program two to three times a year. The important thing here is to reach the goal every time. And while there will be instances wherein the goal may seem hard to achieve, as a family, the focus is on finding a solution, always.