What To Do In Solution Focused Approaches? (SFBT)

On the surface the video below is about what to do in second session when you are using solution focused brief therapy. However, it is also about strategies to use in solutions focused therapy in general and that you can use in hypnotic and other types of interventions as well. Would love to have your take on it. Please leave a comment below after you watch the video

Here is a recap of some of the video's highlights from my point of view:

"What Are Your Best Hopes?

What are your best hopes for this session? This is a question to start sessions and find out what your client wants. It helps establish a positive outcome and positive direction. If you client says something like, "I do not want to be afraid anymore, or "I do not want to be depressed," you could say something like. "Ok, you do not want that. What do you want instead? (Keep if positive and outcome oriented).

Reviewing Signs Of Progress

Elliot talks about using the question, "What has gotten better?" to start off the second session. I want to also point out that he and other brief therapists may often use this question during the first session by saying, "What has gotten better since you first scheduled the appointment?"

If your client says, "Nothing has gotten better," you can still focus on solutions by asking questions such as, "Ok, great, thanks for telling me that. What did you do to stop it from getting worse?" or "Things did not get better, but you came back for another session. What did you do to hold on to just enough hope and resilience to come back for more?"

How Did That Progress Happen?: "What has gotten better?"

Whatever signs of progress that the client mentions: "What did you do to help those things get better?" "What role did you play in the progress that is happening?" "How did you do that?"

Scaling Question

"Thinking of that progress that has taken place, where would you say you are on a scale of 0 to 10?"

And again, best hopes

"What are your best hopes for the session we are doing right now?"

Future Focused Questions

"Suppose after this session your best hopes (insert what they want) have been realized, what would that look like? What would be different?" Or - "What would it take to bring your scale up a little bit more so that things will keep improving?"

Thanks for reading and watching! Again, would love to get your feedback. Just leave a comment in the box below. - Ryan


  1. Very informative and Dr. Connie is always very personable in presenting information so that it is easy to remember…..excellent job Thank you

  2. This was excellent! I really liked how Elliott was focused and offered very practical interventions with no added fluff. He also addressed a very important issue that I had long wanted to know since therapy usually lasts more than 1 session. Thanks a lot!

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