Another myth I have been hearing about the Solution Focused Approach since my earliest days of studying is that this method of psychotherapy does not address “deep issues” or resolve issues with long standing outcomes.

To be honest, of all of the myths that exist about this approach this is the one that I understand the most. When I first began studying this approach I can vividly recall thinking the professor who was teaching, also a well-known solution focused practitioner, was discussing a Band-Aid approach. After all, she was describing a scenario in which she was working with a client that was struggling with some pretty serious issues that also involved other family members. The professor described the work she was doing with this family in detail and I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. She was asking the client seemingly odd questions about how she would like her life to be when the problem was solved. This flew in the face of everything I had learned about the field of psychotherapy to this point and I honestly did not know what to make of what I was hearing.

However, it makes sense. If someone comes to you with a problem it makes sense to have a conversation about the solution to that problem as opposed to its origin. Perhaps this is the reason so many professionals believe this inaccurate myth about the Solution Focused Approach. We have been taught for so long that in order to solve a problem we must completely understand said problem. We seem to have bought into this idea to such a degree that we have missed the most obvious piece of data. This is often not true. Do other professions operate in such a way? No. A football coach does not need to study losing in order to become a good coach nor does a personal trainer need to study obesity in order to become good at motivating people towards health. The list goes on and on, there is an immeasurable amount of examples of professions that understand there are more than one way to resolve problems, SFBT is just one of them in this field.

The most glaring example of this idea being a myth comes from the many many outcome studies that demonstrate the efficacy of this approach in resolving serious problems and having those positive outcomes sustained over time. (If you are interested in seeing a list of some of this research click this link:

I encourage professionals to investigate the efficacy of these methods of psychotherapy for themselves and not just by into what others, like professors, are saying. You may, like in the case of SFBT, realize that you have been fed inaccurate information based on myth and not data.


Elliott Connie