Solution-focused brief therapy: Refining the Art


Focusing on solutionsIn a week and a half, I’m chairing the 8th annual Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association Conferencehere in Banff. I’m really excited about it!! I really believe in this approach to working with people and am grateful to have the opportunity to organize the conference.

Comparison of SFBT with CBT & MI

For the last few years at these conferences, I’ve been able to attend some workshops comparing solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) with a couple of other well-known therapeutic approaches: cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. It’s been really interesting to see how the outcomes of therapeutic conversations can be so different depending on what questions the therapist chooses to ask and how much influence s/he chooses to take during the meeting. SFBT can really help set the stage for change!!

Conference overview

The conference is set up in three chunks: a pre-conference, main conference, and post-conference. The pre and post-conferences offer one to two day workshops on topics such as creating positive addictions, research, and training other people in SFBT.


The main conference offers 30 workshops that facilitate conversation, learning, and networking. The presenters are sharing ideas that will whet the appetites of neophytes and veterans alike. There are presentations on working with couples, children, and adults on a one-to-one, couple, family, group, or organization basis.


I always end up so charged up and excited to use these ideas with the people I work with. It’s an incredible reminder of the diverse groups of people this approach works with and how profound the changes can be. It gives me pause to think about how I’m approaching my work and how I might refine and tweak my skills to better serve the people I have the opportunity to work with.

As a client…

If you are or have been in counseling, what approach has your therapist used that you have found particularly helpful? Is s/he intentional in the work s/he does? Do you feel there is a focused approach that really helps you make the changes you want to make?

As a therapist…

If you’re a therapist, what helps you support the people you work with in the most effective way?


I’d appreciate your comments!!


For more information on the conference, go to