Solution-focused therapy focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead focuses on the present and future. The therapist/counsellor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start noticing any moves towards it, whether these are small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.
Solution-focused therapists believe that change is constant. By helping people identify the things that they wish to change in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue happening, solution-focused therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves. The therapist then helps the client to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat the successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapist helps the client move towards the preferred future they have identified.