Foundations, Assumptions, Theory and Skills

The first mandatory course of the SFBT program provides a solid foundation for understanding the philosophy and techniques of this model.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an evidence-based and strength-based model, developed by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg, and their colleagues at the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in the 1980s. The solution-focused approach represents a paradigm shift from problem-focused and symptom-based to solution-focused and strength-based interventions. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an effective, safe, and brief approach to helping others that utilizes client strengths and resources. Solution-Focused questions lie at the heart of SFBT; they invite clients to think differently, to notice positive differences, and to help make desired changes.

PLEASE NOTE: The SFBTC Program is undergoing a programmatic review over academic year 2023-2024, and courses have been scheduled up until August 2024 at which point the Program and courses will pause. More information will be shared as we near the end of the Program Review period. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, professionals will have demonstrated the ability to...

Build solutions collaboratively with clients by incorporating the foundational principles, assumptions, and techniques of the solution-focused approach.

To achieve the critical performance described above, professionals will have demonstrated the ability to...

  • Describe the difference between problem-solving and solution-building interviewing interventions
  • Explain the origins and development of SFBT
  • Outline the guiding assumptions and tenets of the approach
  • Define the five major interventions in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
  • Outline the application of the tri-phase solution-building model of solution-focused interviewing
  • Demonstrate in role-play scenarios the SFBT interventions and techniques    
  • Explain how to utilize microanalysis of dialogue to understand how presuppositions in question and statements can be used to construct solutions with clients
  • Describe how to reframe negative goals into positive ones


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Course can be applied towards

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & Counselling: Compulsory Courses