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PU Discussion

PU Discussion


The discussions you’ve provided touch upon several key concepts and techniques of SFBT, such as:

  1. Scaling Questions: These involve asking clients to rate their current situation on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. These questions help clients assess their progress, identify areas for improvement, and set realistic goals.
  2. The Miracle Question: This technique encourages clients to envision a future in which their problems have miraculously been solved. This helps them clarify their goals and aspirations, and it guides the therapeutic process toward solutions.
  3. Identifying Exceptions: This involves exploring times when the client’s problem was less intense or not present at all. By analyzing these exceptions, clients and therapists can uncover strategies and resources that can be applied more broadly.
  4. Setting Small Goals: SFBT often focuses on setting small, achievable goals that contribute to larger changes. Celebrating these small successes can help build the client’s confidence and motivation.
  5. Collaboration: SFBT emphasizes collaboration between the client and the therapist. The client is seen as an expert in their own life, and the therapist’s role is to facilitate the client’s exploration of their strengths and potential solutions.
  6. Future-Oriented: SFBT is primarily concerned with where the client wants to go in the future, rather than delving deeply into the past. It encourages clients to focus on creating the future they desire.

Overall, the discussions you’ve provided highlight the practical application of SFBT techniques in addressing a variety of challenges, such as substance use, anxiety, stress, and life transitions. These techniques empower clients to recognize their own abilities and resources, set achievable goals, and work toward positive change.

PU Discussion



Elizabeth D

RE: DB 3.1

Hello class

In the context of Solution-Focused therapy, engaging in a dialogue regarding past achievements can serve as a potent strategy for fostering client self-assurance and enhancing motivation. Suppose a client is seeking therapeutic intervention to address the challenges associated with social anxiety. (Lethem, J. 20020The therapist may engage in an examination of prior occurrences in which the client effectively coped with their anxiety within social contexts. By requesting the client to reflect upon a specific instance in which they experienced anxiety but effectively managed it while maintaining social interaction.

Subsequently, the therapist may initiate an exploration of the client’s actions undertaken during the aforementioned episode in order to manage their anxiety. Which strategies or cognitive processes aided them in successfully navigating that particular situation. By employing a strategy of posing open-ended inquiries, the interlocutor effectively facilitated the smooth progression of the dialogue. By examining the client’s past achievements and the approaches they employed, the therapist can assist the client in recognizing their current strengths and available resources. This discourse serves to strengthen the client’s confidence in their capacity to manage social anxiety, while also promoting the utilization of effective strategies in forthcoming social engagements.

Gaining insight into the strategies employed by the client to effectuate changes is imperative for leveraging their preexisting strengths and resources. Let us examine a hypothetical scenario involving a client who expresses a desire to enhance their time management abilities. The therapist may engage in an exploration of the strategies employed by the client to effectively manage their time (Stevens & Smith, 2018). The utilization of strategies or routines that are presently implemented to effectively manage one’s time. The therapist may subsequently delve deeper into the efficacy of these strategies and ascertain any potential areas that could be enhanced.

Discussing the efficacy of these strategies for the client Are there any specific instances in which these strategies demonstrated exceptional efficacy or failed to meet expectations? By analyzing the clients’ responses, it will be feasible to ascertain the effectiveness of the strategies. Based on the findings of this investigation, the therapist possesses the ability to provide guidance to the client in the process of identifying supplementary strategies or making adjustments to pre-existing ones, with the aim of effectively addressing the obstacles they encounter. The therapist may propose the strategy of decomposing tasks into smaller, more manageable components or investigating methods for sustaining concentration and mitigating potential sources of diversion.

Through an examination of the client’s current methods for effecting change, the therapist engages in a collaborative process aimed at augmenting the client’s preexisting abilities and introducing novel strategies that are congruent with their individual strengths and available resources. This approach facilitates the client’s empowerment in assuming an active role in their personal development and fosters a mindset that promotes leveraging their achievements.


Lethem, J. (2002). Brief solution focused therapy. Child and Adolescent Mental Health7(4), 189-192.

Stevens, P. & Smith, R. L. (2018). Substance Abuse Counseling Theory and Practice (6th

ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Courtney B

RE: DB 3.1

Theories: Discussion Board 3.1

Solution focused brief therapy, or SFBT, avoids rumination over theories in favor of using a collaborative relationship between the client and the practitioner to create practical steps that will identify a client’s strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and find solutions (Winbolt, 2011). Rather than exploring the roots of problems or unearthing previous traumas, solution focused therapy is focused on the present and on the future, aiming to assist clients in determining where they would like to go in life (Winbolt, 2011). While each client is unique and the goals and solutions will vary, a number of topics are typically covered during the therapeutic process.

The outcome that the client desires from the treatment process.

Clear goals are the foundation of solution focused therapy. In the initial meeting, the clinician will begin by “eliciting clear goals for the intervention” (Winbolt, p. 45). While this is client driven, the practitioner’s role is to assist in determining the focus, prioritizing goals, assessing attainability, and offering support and encouragement. Standard practice is to keep the goals small at onset, in order to build success and confidence (Winbolt, 2011). SFBT seeks to help the client develop their vision for the future and then explore the means to get there through meeting goals and utilizing resources (Trepper, et. al., n.d.). In the case of a client who wishes to stop using alcohol and return to work, those long-term goals are already clear; stop using alcohol and return to work. The SFBT practitioner would be able to explore what that future would look like for the client and then set smaller clear goals to get there; such as participating in daily 12 step meetings for a two-week time period and beginning to update a resume. These goals would be reviewed and updated at each session. Clients who struggle to identify a goal initially will likely benefit from use of the SFBT “miracle question”, which asks a version of “If all of your problems were solved tomorrow, what would that look like?” (Trepper, et.al., n.d.). This assists the client in identifying areas of life that would benefit from intervention.


Discussion of changes in the client’s life from session to session.

Each session will begin with the client updating the clinician since the prior appointment; including successes and failures, strategies used, and positive changes noticed, Because progress toward goals can be challenging to measure, SFBT favors the use of scaling techniques in order to both assess progress and bolster client confidence. Using a 0-10 scale, the clinician will guide the client through assessing problems and goals (Trepper, et. al., n.d.). Ideally, positive changes will be noted and celebrated, while areas of frustration will be explored to develop additional strategies. In the case of the client who wishes to stop drinking and return to work, the clinician could ask the client to rate a number of things, including interactions with loved ones, feelings of confidence, intensity of cravings, motivation to return to work, and feelings about the 12-step group meetings.


Trepper, T., McCollum, E., De Jong, P., Korman, H., Gingerich, W., Franklin, C. (n.d.) Solution focused therapy treatment manual for working with individuals.Research Committee of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.

Winbolt, B. (2011). Chapters 3 & 4. In Solution focused therapy for the helping professions (pp. 31–50). essay, Jessica Kingsley.

Ashley K

RE: DB 3.2

DB 3.2

In Peter Szabo’s video (2008), when asked to rate his level of functioning on a scale of 1 to 10, the client reports that he is at a 6. Szabo then asked the client how this is different from when he was at a 1, to which the client responded that he is now spending only three days in the office when he used to spend much longer at work and would often sacrifice family time (Szabo, 2008). He now follows an agenda and feels accomplished at the end of the work day instead of taking on every task handed to him and bringing his work home after hours. This is a considerable amount of progress that the client has displayed, to which the counselor justifiably congratulated his client, which is another technique in SFT. Szabo then asks his client additional scaling questions, such as how he would know that he has progressed to a 7 or 8. The client responded that he would know he has progressed once he comes to the realization that there will always be things that need to be done and feels satisfied that he has done what he can (Szabo, 2008). The client already mentioned earlier in the video that a 10 for him would involve only working one day in the office and leaving work behind him; thus, the miracle question produced reasonable plans to reach the next goal of a 7 on the functioning scale.

Scaling questions allow the client to rate their progress or level of motivation on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest value (Trepper et al., n.d.). Meanwhile, the miracle question is a way to ask about a client’s goal in a way that acknowledges the immensity of the problem while simultaneously guiding the client to develop smaller, more manageable goals (Trepper et al., n.d.). These two techniques can be easily incorporated into a future SFT session. For instance, if a new client with an alcohol use disorder comes to my office for their first appointment, I may ask scaling questions to identify their current progress in their recovery. I may ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you say you are in your recovery progress today?” I would then follow up with questions such as, “What is preventing you from reaching a 5? What would a 6 look like for you?” This would assist the client in creating smaller, more feasible goals that lead up to their main goal for a desired future. To determine the client’s main treatment goal, or desired future, I would ask a miracle question such as, “If you were to wake up one day and the problem that brought you here today was miraculously solved overnight, what would be different?”


Szabo, P. (2008, May 16). Scaling questions [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC6As-jzoQ0.

Trepper, T. S., McCollum, E. E., De Jong, P., Korman, H., Gingerich, W., & Franklin, C. (n.d.). Solution focused therapy treatment manual for working with individuals. Research Committee of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.

Jessica F

RE: DB 3.2

The video displayed the use of scaling questions; on a scale of one to ten how is your anxiety in this situation? These kinds of scaling questions will give the counselor an idea of where the client is at as well as give the client an understanding of his/her own emotions. These questions help the client gain awareness of solutions to their issues. Stevens & Smith (2017) point out that counselors need to find creative and efficient techniques for recovery treatment. Using scaling questions is easy for both the client and counselor to understand. Questions are like a data collection tool for counselors (Strong et al., 2009).

The solution-focused technique uses scaling questions to understand clients’ concerns and solutions to them (Strong et al., 2009). Using scaling questions allows the client to understand their issues and understand they are capable of solving them. In one session the counselor may ask, on a scale of one to six, one being hard and six being easy, how did it feel to be around that trigger. The client may say a six as he or she is starting out but in the second or third session the client may reduce that number to a three. This would show the client that they were able to control their emotions around something that used to be hard for them to do. This also will give them more motivation as they see their progress.

Motivational interviewing is used to motivate the client toward positive changes (Stevens & Smith, 2017). Using this technique, the counselor will congratulate or commend them for doing the work and continue using encouragement to continue the great work. That positive regard gives them motivation that they are on the right path. That assists them in making positive changes and living a healthier life. They ultimately want to change and be happy, they need support and encouragement. DiBlasi et al., (2022) explain that the relational tone between the counselor and the client is empathetic, non-judgmental, and collaborative. Empathy is essential in the helping field as counselors can never judge a client and must have empathy for what they are feeling. This facilitates change in the client and a feeling of being supported. If a counselor shows any judgment, the client may regress and go back to those negative behaviors. Motivational interviewing also is an attempt to evoke the client’s own motivation to make changes (DiBlasi, 2022).

Applying harm reduction is a technique in which counselors will discuss issues surrounding the use of the substance but relate it to the client’s situation. The client will receive information on the drug they use and how it may negatively affect people. Stevens & Smith (2017) point out that when using this technique, the counselors may also give the client useful information on things such as syringe exchange. Reynolds et al., (2022) explain the stigma surrounding harm reduction techniques because they do not revolve around abstinence. As a counselor, it will depend on where the client is on the stages of change when using this method. If a client is showing no signs of changing, this technique may inform them and lead to future changes.


DiBlasi, T., Tafrate, R. C., & Kassinove, H. (2022). Core mechanisms of change in motivational interviewing: An attempt to separate relational from technical element effects. Psihologijske Teme, 31(3), 743–761. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.31820/pt.31.3.14

Reynolds, G., Lindsay, B. L., Knaak, S., & Szeto, A. C. H. (2022). Opioid use stigma: An examination of student attitudes on harm reduction strategies. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20(6), 3381–3397. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s11469-022-00756-7

Strong, T., Pyle, N. R., & Sutherland, O. (2009). Scaling questions: Asking and answering them in counselling. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 22(2), 171–185. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/09515070903157321

Mary B

RE: DB 3.3

Three therapeutic goals that this writer believes would pertain to Cherry’s case are as follows:

1. Learning healthier and more appropriate coping skills for stress and anxiety.
2. Coordinating mental health therapy with SUD therapy, as Cherry is obviously struggling with the divorce and could benefit from a full mental health assessment.
3. Possibly helping with budgeting skills to attempt to avoid additional financial stress from being a single parent.

Additionally, the therapist could assist Cherry with identifying hobbies and interests that do not include substance abuse and help to encourage her to participate in activities with other adults who have similar interests.

If the ex-husband is willing to participate in family therapy, this could possibly help all involved to understand the feelings of one another and assist each other in a manner that benefits the children and everyone involved. Regardless, Cherry needs assistance with recognizing those situations that are triggering and lead to her drinking and/or abusing benzodiazopines if she is to be able to avoid a slip in the future.She has experienced a significant life change and most likely needs to establish support and new friendships. As part of SFBT therapy, the therapist should help Cherry work to obtain small small changes in the beginning, allowing her to experience some initial success and reducing the risk of set backs or relapse (Winbolt, 2011). Cherry may set a goal to avoid drinking when the children go to bed at night and work to find alternative activities in which she could spend her leisure time.

It is likely that Cherry is so overwhelmed that she does not recognize her own strengths and resilience that have gotten her this far. SFBT techniques can help her in several ways. The therapist can guide the conversation so she is better able to identify how she has resolved problems in the past. SFBT assumes that clients already possess the strength and the experience to make necessary changes, but they simply need encouragement to help them recognize and utilize these qualities (Trepper, n.d.). Cherry could be reminded that change is always occurring and inevitable, therefore, aiming for positive changes is important, and seeing these changes will help Cherry develop self-esteem and increase her motivation (Winbolt, 2011). With each session, the therapist could allow Cherry to discuss the changes she is making, such as avoiding alcohol after her kids go to bed.

This writer would also work to keep focus on the present and future. By helping Cherry focus on where she is going and what she wants to achieve, rather than what has happened to her in the past, she can work on controlling what happens to her in the future and not why it happened (Winbolt, 2011). Of course she is probably feeling depression because of the divorce, maybe even feeling as if she is a failure or that she has wasted years of her life. What she needs to understand is that she can’t change the past, but she can create a better future, even if it is not exactly how she thought that future would pan out.


Trepper, T., McCollum, E., De Jong, P., Korman, H., Gingerich, W., Franklin, C. (n.d.) Solution focused therapy treatment manual for working with individuals. Research Committee of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.

Winbolt, B. (2011). Solution focused therapy for the helping professions. Jessica Kingsley. https://eds-p-ebscohost-com.postu.idm.oclc.org/eds/ebookviewer/ebook?sid=cf365ed9-2ae5-4d93-8bcf-f034e04f67fd%40redis&ppid=pp_31&vid=0&format=EB.

Ashley K

RE: DB 3.3

DB 3.3

In Cherry’s case, I would encourage her to focus on remaining abstinent before addressing her chief complaints of stress and anxiety. One assumption of SFT is that clients are not incapable or dysfunctional; rather, they are functional and capable with limited resources (Winbolt, 2011). Therefore, Cherry should be educated on the resources available to her that would assist her through her recovery journey and manage her life stressors. We would likely discuss attending AA and NA meetings at least three times a week for three months, following up weekly to ensure her attendance and monitor her recovery progress. Another goal might be creating a structured daily schedule that outlines her family and work obligations. This would help Cherry establish routines that provide ample time to complete family and work obligations without overwhelming her or mismanaging her time. Finally, a third goal may be creating a self-care routine. By coaching Cherry on mindfulness activities and self-care habits she can practice on-the-go or during her alone hours, this would eliminate the temptation to use substances by replacing her maladaptive habits with healthy coping skills.

As part of her counseling, I would educate Cherry on the warning signs of a relapse. Then, I would coach her through how to promptly reverse a relapse once she recognized the symptoms. If Cherry relapses, I would first praise her for reporting this information to me and emphasize the progress she has made up to that point. Then, I would help her identify what triggered her to start using substances again and discuss which abstinence techniques have worked or didn’t work. Based on this information, we would scale her progress and develop smaller, more manageable goals for her to achieve (Trepper et al., n.d.).

I believe scaling questions and the miracle question would empower and motivate Cherry to continue remaining abstinent. Scaling questions would help identify where she rates her functioning and recovery progress, identify what she needs to reach the next step, and develop a reasonable plan of action based on these goals (Trepper et al., n.d.). Meanwhile, the miracle question would allow Cherry to manifest an ideal, substance-free future in which her chief concerns are resolved (Trepper et al., n.d.). This is her main treatment goal and what each short-term goal would ultimately amount to by the end of treatment.

Another consideration for SFT is identifying exceptions, or instances in which the problem could have occurred but didn’t (Trepper et al., n.d.). These may be situations in which Cherry was given the opportunity to use substances but refrained from doing so, or circumstances in which she was falling behind on her obligations but managed to overcome these obstacles. Highlighting these exceptions to the problem not only emphasizes the client’s capability and progress, but it also reveals techniques that have worked in the past (Trepper et al., n.d.).


Trepper, T. S., McCollum, E. E., De Jong, P., Korman, H., Gingerich, W., & Franklin, C. (n.d.). Solution focused therapy treatment manual for working with individuals. Research Committee of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.

Winbolt, B. (2011). Solution focused therapy for the helping professions. Jessica Kingsley. https://eds-p-ebscohost-com.postu.idm.oclc.org/eds/ebookviewer/ebook?sid=cf365ed9-2ae5-4d93-8bcf-f034e04f67fd%40redis&ppid=pp_31&vid=0&format=EB.

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