The American Psychological Association defines evidence-based practice as “the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences.” One of the pioneers of the evidenced based movement, Dr. David Sackett, states that, “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” These definitions seem as though they would both include an approach like Solution Focused Brief Therapy but the truth is that is not always the case.
Though there is a large body of research supporting the efficacy of the SF approach, many professionals, clinicians and agency administrators do not give this model the evidenced based credit it deserves. For example, at the time when I published my first book and began to teach this model, I was working at an agency that proclaimed to only use evidence-based programs and practices. The problem was that for them “evidence based” seemed to be synonymous with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Even though my clients were completing treatment in fewer sessions than my colleagues’ and were reporting enjoying the sessions, the powers that be were less than supportive when it came to my work with clients.
I was reminded routinely that the reason they could not support my work was because SFT was not evidenced-based and thus not in line with the agency’s mission. I was quite confused by this because I was aware of several outcome studies that were able to demonstrate the efficacy of the model. Eventually it became so hard for me to remain in this environment that I ventured off and opened my own practice. In the years since, I have dedicated myself to teaching and practicing this model in a way that highlights that it is effective. There is research to support its use, it is, in fact, evidenced based.
In a recent study, Wally Gingerich and Lance Peterson, helped the solution focused community tremendously by conducting the type of study that is hard to ignore. Titled, “Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Systematic Qualitative Review of Controlled Outcome Studies” the authors reviewed 43 studies that used SFT in psychotherapy or as a behavior change application. What they found was that this approach was an effective model of treatment for a variety of behavioral and psychological problems. The good news did not stop there, they went to state that these outcomes were more cost effective and required fewer sessions than other forms of therapy.
So, as you forge on and apply the SF model in your work, be confident that you best practices. This approach is evidenced based!
Special thanks to Wally Gingerich and Lance Peterson, to access their article click on the link below:
Quote of the Month:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein
I hope you enjoyed and found inspiration!
PS- I want to thank you all for your support. I have heard from so many people during the past few months regarding the launch of The Connie Institute. I am excited about the services that we are offering and can not express how appreciateive I am to everyone that has expressed an interest in our events. I was motivated before but I now have an even higher sense of purpose in this project!