Banyan Detox Stuart Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Also known as solution-focused therapy (SFT), solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) was developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in collaboration with their colleagues at the Milwaukee Brief Family Therapy Center beginning in the late 1970s. As you may have guessed from the name, solution-focused brief therapy techniques are future-focused, goal-directed, and centered on solutions. Solution-focused brief therapy is a short-term goal approach to treating the underlying factors of addiction to help prepare patients for a life of sobriety outside of their drug treatment programs. We’re proud to have team members at Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart with solution-focused brief therapy training who can help our patients recover from substance abuse.

What Is Solution-Focused Therapy?

Solution-focused therapy is a short-term and goal-focused therapeutic approach to addiction and mental health treatment that helps clients approach their situations with the intent of finding a solution rather than focusing entirely on the problem. We highlight the patient's ability to solve problems instead of focusing on why or how the problem was created. This form of therapy has successfully treated individuals with all kinds of disorders, from mental illness to addiction. Problem-solving is essential in addiction recovery, especially because many addicts turn to drugs and alcohol as temporary solutions for their problems. We want to help our clients break out of that cycle and develop better ways to solve life's everyday problems.

What Is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Used For?

  Solution-focused therapy has been successfully applied to a variety of conditions. SFT presupposes that clients have an idea of what will improve their lives, which many of them do. Considering the fact that addiction is a chronic disease, this form of therapy is especially helpful for patients who understand they have a problem but are unable to quit without the help of drug or alcohol treatment.

Solution-focused brief therapy is used for:
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Substance use disorders
  • Anger management
  • Communication difficulties
  • Crisis intervention

SFT is grounded on the belief that although patients may have the skills they need to change their lives, they may need help identifying and learning how to use these skills. Using solution-focused brief therapy with substance-using individuals helps them find the tools they can use immediately to manage their symptoms and stay sober. Also, SFBT recognizes that people already know what changes need to be made in their lives and our trained specialists work with them to clarify these goals.

Solution-Focused Therapy Techniques

  In the solution-focused brief therapy offered at our Stuart rehab, counselors ask different types of questions to guide the sessions and understand the client's strengths. Counselors may also use complimentary language to bring awareness to the client's achievements and support their strengths. Below are some common solution-focused brief therapy techniques that our specialists utilize.

Coping Questions

  One solution-focused brief therapy technique is asking coping questions, which can help demonstrate the person’s resilience and the different ways they can cope with difficult situations on their own. An example of a coping question may be, “After everything you’ve been through, how have you managed to overcome it all?” These questions place the client in a position where they have to acknowledge their achievements.

The Miracle Question

  The miracle question is when the counselor will ask the client to imagine that they've gone to sleep and that their problems have been solved once they wake up. After this visualization, counselors will then ask the client how they know these problems have been solved and what's different in that scenario. This question helps counselors identify and understand what the true problem is, how it's affecting the person, and it also motivates clients to move forward and overcome their problem.

Illuminating the Exceptions to the Problems

  Solution-focused therapy believes that there are exceptions or moments in a person's life when the problem isn’t present or when the problem is present but does not cause any negative effects. This then raises the question of what’s different between the two scenarios. The counselor can ask the client to think about and recall moments in their life when the problem wasn’t an issue and inquire as to what was different about the two scenarios.


  This technique involves the counselor listening to the client to identify their strengths and what they've done well and then reflecting back to the client while acknowledging how difficult this has been for them, encouraging the clients, and also valuing their strengths.


  The scales technique involves the counselor asking the client to rate the severity of their problem on a scale of 1 to 10. This helps both the counselor and the client to visualize where the client is on that scale. An example of a scaling question includes, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your ability to achieve this goal?" These can be used throughout therapy sessions to determine how clients are progressing.

Solution-focused therapy for substance abuse aims to help patients realize their ability to tackle their problems and find solutions. SFT at Banyan Stuart is one of our numerous drug therapy programs that offer a helpful approach to recovery from addiction. If you’re interested in learning more about our solution-focused brief therapy or inpatient drug treatment, contact us today to speak to a team member.

Related Reading:

Addiction & The Brain: How Drugs Affect the Brain

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At Banyan Detox Stuart our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.

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