For Medical Professionals, Educators, and Clinicians

The Solution-Focused Approach can be used successfully to find satisfying outcomes for both patients and clinicians alike. My hope is for clients to build on and rekindle excitement and enthusiasm for their profession, enhance feelings of hope and optimism and offer practical “how to” skills to enhance your career. Working in the medical field requires great skill, stamina and resilience and consequently can be highly fulfilling and stressful. I am pleased to be offering individual and small group Solution-Focused Coaching for people working in the medical profession including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists, and other medical professionals. Continue reading

Anne Bodmer Lutz, B.S.N., M.D.

The current epidemic of opioid use has been called the worst drug crisis in American history with associated overdose deaths building across the nation. It is affecting nearly every city and town in the United State and is the epidemic of the 21st Century. For this reason, we thought it is critical to address this in our first newsletter. I have found my work in treating those clients and family members coping with substance abuse an incredible privilege and immensely rewarding. Continue reading

By Jim Dunn, MS

I am inspired to share a fictional representation of a composite case example based on a recent practice exercise I that I tried. I spoke a person, who I will name Jeff. He had seen several therapists in the past and tried several different approaches, but continued to struggle with depressive symptoms.

The exercise I practiced was about exceptions/positive differences and finding resources that reside within clients. I asked him how he has been able to cope with the depression. He had a pause and said that he never thought about that before. He said Continue reading

By Christiaan Von Woerden

After a year of observing and assisting medical interns in dealing with children and thinking about my role as a pediatrician in Cape Town, (formally called Cape of Good Hope), I am invited to organize a two-day solution focused workshop around medical history taking in children and their parents. I am thrilled.

Born Dutch and trained as a medical specialist in the Netherlands, I felt uplifted after becoming adept at solution focused brief therapy and its use in medical practice. Continue reading

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), also called Solution-Focused Therapy, Solution-Building Practice therapy was developed by Steve de Shazer (1940-2005), and Insoo Kim Berg (1934-2007) and their colleagues beginning in the late 1970’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the name suggests, SFBT is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that brought clients to seek therapy.

The entire solution-focused approach was developed inductively in an inner city Continue reading

How Solution Focused Therapy can enhance care of the medically complex patient

An Inspiring Conversation with Dr. Margret Chang, M.D.
Anne Bodmer Lutz, B.S.N., M.D.

I have had the immense pleasure of meeting Dr. Chang, who has combined training in both Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. She dedicates her work to the care of medically and socially complex patients in underserved areas. She recently has been introduced the Solution-Focused Approach, and has been trying Solution-Focused Skills in the care of her patients. She has found it both inspiring for herself and beneficial for her patients. We recently spent a few hours sipping tea and conversing about the ways in which she has found Solution-Focused tools helpful in her practice. Below are a few of the pearls she has noticed in her work. Continue reading

By Richard Kahn

I am inspired to share a fictional representation of a composite case example based on the type of client issues that I am presented with in a public health nutrition clinic that allows for limited time for interventions frequent one-off encounters. As a beginner, I am motivated to practice my newly acquired solution-focused skills that I am learning within the class. The clinic is a challenging, yet rewarding place to practice as the cases are often complex once the clients are given the opportunity to open up. I will call this client “Tina”. Tina is 29 years old pregnant client who was self-referred with rapid weight gain of 20 pounds in the past 2 months. She was already obese, reported limited family and social connections and said she likes to be independent. I had about 20 minutes with this client, of which at least 5 minutes was managing bureaucratic details. Continue reading

By Jennifer Yalowitz, LMFT

As solution-focused therapists, we spend a lot of time identifying and amplifying our clients’ Exceptions (Positive Differences). This allows us to understand what is different, how they got those differences to happen, and how they can possibly get the resulting changes to happen more often.

Exceptions (Positive Differences) are an important concept in solution-focused therapy. In Interviewing for Solutions, Peter De Jong and Insoo Kim Berg (2008) identify “Exploring for Exceptions” as one of the basic stages of solution-building. During this stage, “we ask about those times in clients’ lives when their problems are not happening or are less severe” and “we also ask about who did what to make the exceptions happen.” Continue reading

Co-developed by Jennifer Yalowitz, LMFT and Karrie Slavin, MSW, MPH, LMSW and presented at SFBTA 2015

The following are a series of questions designed to guide you to your sparkling moments. Feel free to use them as a guide and remember to be yourself in your conversations. Find a partner and select one person to be the first interviewer and one to be the first interviewee. And then switch.

Remember, those of you who are the interviewers have a very important job—the discoveries in this conversation will flow from your co-creation, so the way you ask questions and listen is just as important to the process as what the interviewee shares about his or her own experience. Continue reading