Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & Counselling

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & Counselling

Create real impact in your clients’ lives with a solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) approach – an effective, strength-based intervention that represents a paradigm shift from classical problem-focused / symptom-based interventions.

The Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & Counselling program equips you with solution-building skills at a specialist level. You will practice the skills needed to conduct interviews that use clients’ existing strengths and resources to help them find solutions to a wide range of human difficulties.

Developed by Canada’s leading faculty of education*, this program is delivered by award-winning facilitators and researchers and industry professionals.

* QS World University Rankings by Subject

This program has been approved by the Ontario Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists and psychological associates. Courses are accredited by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).

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. 

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What You’ll Learn

Through a collaborative, supportive, online environment you’ll explore the solution-focused approach and foster greater resilience, self-care, and positive mindset for yourself, and your clients.

Your SFBTC practice will lead to better interactions with individuals, groups, and organizations in which clients’ existing strengths and resources are leveraged to enhance possibilities for positive change. You’ll develop greater interpersonal, communication, and strategic thinking skills that are useful in enhancing relationships and performance at work, at home, and in the community.

Note: Courses can be taken individually in any order, but if your goal is to complete certificate, we recommend taking courses in the following order:

  1. Foundation Assumptions, Theory & Skills
  2. Any 3 SFBTC Elective
  3. Single Session Practicum
  4. Clinical Case Presentation

Who Should Enroll in this Program

Individuals who have obtained a minimum bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s level training in psychology or a counselling related degree,
or in some cases individuals with significant counselling experience or non-university-based education.

Most Commonly Related Occupations




Social Workers

Health Care Practitioners

Community Support Professionals

Educators and Educational Administrators

Program Overview

The program can be completed in six months, twelve months, or up to two years, depending on your schedule and goals. Complete three (3) compulsory courses and three (3) elective course to earn a Certificate of Completion in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Counselling.

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.

Program Length

6-12 Months
(or up to 24 months)



Class Size

Under 30 Learners

Course Duration

Each course is two days (6 hours per day)


12-24 hours per course

Total Investment

$2,620 (HST Exempt)
($415 per course and $545 for single session practicum)

Compulsory Courses (Take All 3)

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.

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This Practicum course offers qualified learners an intensive opportunity to have live supervision of their work and be part of the classic Solution-Focused "team behind the mirror". Learners will participate in co-therapy sessions with clients, and in the team behind the mirror.  Sessions will be recorded and micro-analyzed in group supervision. Learners will learn what they are doing well and what they may want to do differently.

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Throughout the Program, learners are encouraged to record several of their interviews and review them to increase skills. The Clinical Case Presentation course is an opportunity for students to further develop and demonstrate their skills by preparing and presenting a video recorded solution-building interview to the class; and also, prior to the module, engaging in a peer review process of classmates solution-building interviews.

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Elective Courses (Choose 3)

The aim of this course is for you to acquire a more detailed understanding of crisis, to know what is helpful and to know how to apply the principles, assumptions and techniques of the Solution-Focused brief therapy approach. This course not only shows you how to defuse a crisis, but how to move the client out of the situation and towards a solution; a unique new step in crisis intervention.  By participating in this course you will develop sufficient self-awareness that your own reaction to the client or the circumstances will no longer interfere in the process.  The learner will be trained in the key factors that influence crisis and anger.  They will then be given the opportunity to practice the skills required to successfully engage the client/patient.

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This course will cover the application of solution-focused, strength-based interventions for people experiencing effects of stress, trauma, and PTSD.  The aim is to help survivors amplify resilience and discover possibilities for going beyond recovery towards post-traumatic growth, thereby becoming stronger as a result of adversity.  Factors that influence post-traumatic growth as well as methods of facilitating and assessing post-traumatic growth will be explored.  Learners will also have opportunities to develop their skills through observing and practicing solution-focused, strength-based interventions in small group practice sessions.

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This course will explore didactically and experientially the tenets, assumptions and techniques of Solution-Focused work with these specific populations. Solution work with children and adolescents is similar in the posture we hold towards the adult: taking a collaborative stance, assuming competency and good intentions, seeing the child as an expert of his/her life, taking a not-knowing posture and allowing the client to generate their own solution as much as possible.  The difference lies in deciding which 'tools' to use, how to make them fit the child's needs, and in becoming creative.

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This course seeks to explore how the theory, assumptions and techniques of solution-focused counselling can be applied in therapy with couples and families. This course aims to assist learners in developing the skills to work with couples and families, and help them achieve their goals and strengthen their relationships.

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This experiential course in solution-building skills, will be of interest to anyone who wants to increase their effectiveness in working with clients and co-workers in group settings.  In addition to an introduction to Solution-Focused Interviewing as it pertains to working with groups, this workshop will include strategies and techniques for facilitating groups in a solution-focused way.

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This course will offer learners the opportunity to bridge mindfulness and solution focused practices in order to promote wellness for both the solution focused practitioner and the client. Emphasis will be placed on the overlapping concepts of both models and how to use these concepts to expand and enhance solution-focused skills.

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SFBT offers a uniquely effective strength-based, non-pathologizing, and evidence-based alternative to the traditional bio-medical model approach for supporting those struggling to overcome anxiety and depression. In this course, participants will learn how to use solution-focused questions to draw out strengths and abilities in their clients and how to use the strength-based, solution-focused approach to create helpful positive thinking and perspectives. Through the use of didactic explanation, audio and video examples, discussion, role plays, pair and small group practice, and case presentations, participants will learn how to apply the primary types of solution-focused questions (outcome, exceptions, relationship, scaling, & coping) to increase hope, confidence, motivation and positive outcomes with people struggling to overcome anxiety and depression.

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Walk-in and single session therapy and counselling are increasingly used as effective ways to provide useful, meaningful, “just-in-time” and “one-at-a-time” services to a wide range of clients in a variety of settings.  Research confirms that single sessions are effective for children, adolescents, and adults, produce high rates of client satisfaction, and can have long-lasting results.

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Meet Our Facilitators

Alesya Courtnage

View Alesya's Bio

Ready to Enroll or Have Questions?

We’re ready to support your continuing education journey. Contact us today to find out whether this program is right for you.

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