What are the principles of a solution-focused approach? Do you believe that your therapist can do more in what is already working in your marriage?
Think of your happy future together with your partner as you set goals and choose the path to look for a solution rather than focusing on your problems.
Solution Focused Approach Therapy Versus Other Forms Of Therapy
All therapy specializes in conversation, but with solution focused therapy, the discussion is bound towards developing and achieving a concept to solve the issues. The therapist may formulate questions to help clarify those solutions and design techniques to find means to attain them. Questions asked are usually focused either on the present or the future. “This reflects the basic belief that problems are best solved by focusing on what is already working, and how a client would like their life to be, rather than focusing on the past and the origin of problems,” as stated by psychotherapist Yvonne Dolan, M.A.
In the book, The Solution Focused Marriage, by Elliot Connie, he explains how solution-focused therapy is different from other traditional forms of treatment.
Therapists using the solution-focused therapy method believe that small changes are all that every couple needs to effect progress in the relationship as it tends to produce a ripple effect.
How Does Solution Focused Therapy Work?
Married couples need to improve their communication patterns. It is necessary for facilitating the couple’s sharing and decision making, e.g., how they will manage their finances. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist between two emotional human beings who bring their own past experiences, history, and expectations into it.”
- Identifying Goals was the vital focus for couples in their first session. The therapist will collaborate with them in expounding their benchmarks of ending counseling. Couples will be asked questions that are tailored towards getting their attention on the process of change and the future.
Instead of talking about the problem, the therapist will reframe the conversation by strategically asking questions such as, “What is it that you like in your relationship?” This type of question will make the couple see the strength in their relationship that they can bank on.
A therapist can also ask the couple to rate their relationship and evaluate their commitment to the change. It will help couples ascertain their goals.
- Pinpointing The Changes. “What has changed since the last session?” or “Has it been any better since the last session?” This type of question intends to set the direction and emphasis of the session in order to center the minds of the couple on the solutions. Here, the therapist will see if there are positive changes, and will help the couple look at these changes and make them aware of its meaning and significance.
The therapist will also ask questions on strategies the couples will do to maintain and continue with these changes, and so that they can capitalize on these changes in the future.
- Teamwork. It is a challenge to make couples work together in planning solutions for the problems, e.g., their budget for a month (as indicated in the example given above). The therapist will provide them with homework for the next session. This homework will require effective communication and compromise, which means they would need to prioritize items on their budget through dialogue and negotiation. “When we know each other’s personality we have the ability to see where our spouse is being drained and either point it out or take on some of the responsibility,” – Keith Dent, Certified Empowerment Coach.
The therapist will then again use scaling questions to measure the couple’s commitment to this new phase in their relationship, and how far they can commit to continuing on the change and also increasing their efforts to see improvement.
Couples toward the end of the session should be able to see improvement in their relationship. They should be able to express marital satisfaction and a higher level of intimacy. Couples now must be able to plan things together (e.g., plan their budget), and this will have a positive ripple effect on different areas of their family and married life.
If you have been craving to experience a change in your relationship and improve your communication and understanding of each other with every issue surrounding your marriage, BetterHelp skilled therapists can guide you through solution-focused therapy. Find out what you have had accomplished as a couple, discover your strengths, and assess how willing you are to commit to change for your family’s advantage.