A Brief on Solution-Focused Therapy Approach to Drinking Issue

This study provides Solution-Focused Therapy Approach, which Scott D. Miller writes on behalf of the National Institutes of Health of the United States of America. Alcoholism addictions are a growing public concern, affecting more than 13 million U.S. adult males and more than 250 billion dollars a year strain the nation’s health care system. Sadly, while alcohol dependency symptoms may sound easy to spot, addictions often go undetected or untreated. With advances in substance abuse treatment technology, the stigma surrounding alcoholism has decreased. In contrast, treatment centres have expanded their services to offer various treatment programs for all types of alcoholism, including addictions. But even with treatment, the root causes of addiction remain largely undiagnosed.

Addictive drinking behaviours can start as occasional drinking.

The basic philosophy behind the Solution-Focused Therapy approach to the problem of drinking is that a person can overcome most problems if they have the proper motivation. This approach was developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and applied in various studies involving alcoholism.

Specifically, it was found that when a subject was primed with prior information regarding the impact of alcohol on the body and then given the information relating to a painful or distressing experience, the subject was far more likely to control their drinking. The problem then becomes what occurs when the person is primed with this information and then given the chance to experience the distressing event without having the proper goal in mind. It can be said then that the subject’s motivational function has been compromised, and for this reason, their drinking has increased.

In some cases, this Solution-Focused Therapy has proved extremely effective in the treatment of drug addiction. This is due to the fact that, as with many addicts, there is an absence of a clear and specific problem that causes the person to start using drugs. This means that once a person becomes dependent upon alcohol, the reasons for doing so are mostly irrelevant and even insignificant. As such, Solution-Focused Therapy must target the underlying cause of the addiction, and attempt to eliminate the need for the substance on a long-term basis. This is the only way that will ensure a successful recovery.

Solution-Focused Therapy is very popular with physicians, and especially those involved in the treatment of those suffering from addiction. It has been found to be extremely useful in helping to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and other disorders which are often associated with alcohol abuse and to help patients maintain sobriety and fitness. When used properly, it can lead to a huge improvement in the lives of those who suffer from alcoholism and can pave the way for them to resume a healthy and productive existence. Solution-Focused Therapy is very simple to learn, and its positive results have been proven time again.

One of the first things a counselor will likely do in relation to the problem of drinking is to create a shift in the client’s self-image. This can be done through various ways, such as learning new behaviors and ways of thinking to replace habitual drinking. In some cases, a thorough evaluation of the beliefs and values that are part of the client’s work environment or their daily life will enable the counselor to identify those that might be contributing to the problem of drinking. In other instances, talking with a person’s friends and family can help identify common themes that they share regarding drinking.

Once the counselor has identified several areas of the client’s life that might be leading to a problem, the next step is to create a plan for change. This will include both the client and the counselor working through these plans together. The plan will be coordinated with the needs of the client, which may involve engaging in new forms of socializing or developing new healthier habits and behaviors. These will often take the form of dieting and exercise, but may also include participation in Solution-Focused Therapy sessions or in other personal activities. Developing these new healthy habits will allow the client to face the issue of alcohol use in a more confident way and will also assist the client in reaching their goal of becoming sober.

As well as identifying and creating new eating and exercise patterns, the client who is getting treatment via Solution-Focused Therapy will need to be encouraged and motivated enough to continue to reduce their drinking. This can be done through a combination of encouragement and motivation, mixed with some sort of reward. For example, if the client chooses to make a promise to stop drinking on a particular date, the counsellor can offer a small cash reward or another prize in order to encourage them. If they attend a specific group or workshop that is scheduled to help them reduce drinking, the counsellor may schedule an appointment or send out a notice via the internet or in a hand-written letter.

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1. Overview of This Approach

The Solution-Focused Therapy Paradigm is a short description counseling technique built at the Milwaukee-based Brief Family Therapy Center during the last 2 decades. The paradigm is still evolving and being used to address a wide range of presenting conditions in a variety of treatment environments. Problems to Solutions, Incorporation, a facility that offers free care to the historically underserved community and specializes in the management of poor, addicted men, is now carrying on the study. The paradigm is specifically intended to assist people with using their own particular skills and talents to address the issues that brought them to recovery in the first place.

1.2 Approach’s Aims and Targets

The whole emphasis of the Solution-Focused Therapy short descrioption counseling technique is on goals. To discuss recovery objectives, the model employs a sophisticated questioning technique whose characteristics enable timely and successful care.

The Following Objectives Must Be Met:

  • The person is more important than the psychiatrist or the Solution-Focused Therapy service
  • It is preferable to be small instead of massive
  • Relevant, measurable, and behavioral concepts have been used to describe the situation
  • Instead of being defined in global and behavioral terminology, it is described relationally and qualitatively
  • Interactional and behavioral terms replace specific and intrapsychic words
  • Instead of the ending of something, it is defined as the beginning of something
  • Instead of the disappearance of something, it is defined as the existence of something
  • Under the sense of the client’s existence, realistic and instantly achievable goals

Following the negotiation of a target, the design defines how to achieve the goal with the client’s own specific capabilities and abilities. Exceptions and cases are two types with these assets and capabilities. Time intervals where the person is not experiencing the issue or complaint about which the individual is receiving care are considered exceptions. On the other hand, instances are stretches of time during which the customer is confronted with the issues in full or in portion. To gather details on the frequency of exception example times such that they can be replicated hereafter, interrogation techniques are used.

1.3 Theoretical Justification/action Mechanism

The view claims that the outcomes to the challenges that a person takes to Solution-Focused Therapy may have no or very small bearing on such issues. This is especially important in the care of problematic alcoholism, where a client’s resolution of the problem may be influenced by a multitude of life events or acts that have little to do with the client’s alcohol consumption.

Although There Are Several Possible Remedies, One Instance Is a Problematic Alcoholic Who Avoids Abusing Alcohol or Other Drugs Because Individual:

  • The individual finds work
  • It is used to end or start a friendship
  • New acquaintances are created
  • Relocation is needed

As a result, the main target of treatment for resolving the drinking issue does not have to be alcohol. Rather, the emphasis shifts back to assisting the customer in achieving the personal objectives that individual has set.

1.4 Change Agents

There is no one agent of transformation solely accountable for a favorable care result in the Solution-Focused Therapy Design. As a matter of fact, in this method, the issue of the agent of transformation can be seen as one that distorts rather than explains the essence of the majority of effective care encounters. The Solution-Focused Therapy counselor believes that progress is ongoing and unavoidable and that the excellent counselor just needs to tap through and utilize current change rather than produce or trigger it.

1.5 Drug Abuse/addiction: Conceptualization and Direct Causal Factors

Issues of alcohol and other substances are thought to be multidetermined, arising from a mixture of environmental and biological causes. There is no such thing as a single type of alcoholism; rather, there are several types of alcoholism.

Because of The Wide Range of Causative Causes and Complications Associated with Alcohol and Other Substances, It Is Reasonable to Conclude That:

  • There is no one therapeutic approach that can benefit all
  • It is essential to employ a varied set of care options
  • Individualized treatment plans should be formulated and tailored to the desires of each person

2. Comparison to Various Different Counseling Methods and Approaches

2.1 Counseling Methodologies that Are Most Similar

Any interviewing techniques in the cognitive and cognitive-behavioral recovery systems, as well as some interrogation aspects of motivation reinforcement counseling by Hester and Miller, are close to this design.

2.2 Counseling Approaches Have the Most Distinctive Differences

While the Solution-Focused Therapy Model’s multiple methods may be integrated into most established therapy techniques, the design is more likely to differ from more common therapy methods in terms of conclusions, for example, 12-step, recovery-based strategies.

3. Presentation or Format

3.1 Treatment Methodologies

The Solution-Focused Therapy paradigm was first designed as a family counseling technique, but it is now utilized in a number of settings, including client, pair, family, and community therapy. The technique is mainly consistent in both of these platforms. The only significant distinction is that whether the paradigm is used in pair, partner, or community formats, advanced interviewing methods have been evolved to promote and integrate multiple participant involvement.

3.2 The Perfect Treatment Environment

A residential, voluntary outpatient care organization was the first to use the Solution-Focused Therapy methodology. Since then, it’s been seen in inpatient and transitional environments. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect environment for the model. However, it is uncertain whether the model will be included in these environments when the costs are so much more significant. The outcomes are essentially the same as in outpatient settings.

3.3 Treatment Timeframe

The total number of counselor-client encounters is 4.7, for a duration of 1 to 12 hours, since this is a “brief” therapy model. This therapy encounters usually take place over the course of three or four months. However, the care is open-ended, and clients are informed that they can return at any time for any cause.

3.4 Compatibility of Some Medical Procedures

As previously said, Solution-Focused Therapy approaches should be employed in conjunction with a variety of other treatment models. Under whatever treatment paradigm is used, the goal is to assist each person in maximizing his or her effectiveness by using his or her particular resources and abilities. Campbell and Brashera’s work is an illustration of how the model can be adapted to suit into conventional care environments (1994).

3.5 Self-Help Programs: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Clients are neither encouraged nor discouraged from participating in existing self-help services under the Solution-Focused Therapy Desing.

4. Characteristics and Training of Counselors 

4.1 Basic Requirement of Education

Since the model has been chiefly presented to experienced audiences, the bulk of those who have been trained in it hold a graduate degree or advanced qualification. On the other hand, the paradigm would not necessitate a specific educational experience in the human sciences. Indeed, previously homeless males with alcohol and other addiction issues were trained the model and worked as peer mentors in one collaboration with homeless clients. Several of these men currently serve on the board of directors of Problems to Solutions, Incorporation.

4.2 Experience, Qualifications, and Training

Individuals can get training at Problems to Solutions, Incorporation through a variety of services, or they can get training from other specialist centers. Start, medium, and advanced levels are available for certain week-long or month-long classes. At the conclusion of the course, you will be given a certificate showing that you have completed the curriculum. However, since no qualification procedure occurs at this point, qualifications from current training programs only ensure fulfillment of the training curriculum, not proficiency in the model. Supervision is accessible, and it is highly recommended.

4.3 Rehabilitation Condition of The Counselor

The counselor’s previous usage of alcohol or other medications, as well as any issues with them, was considered irrelevant to the Solution-Focused Therapy Design.

4.4 Counselor Personal Attributes that Are Ideal

The qualities of a good psychologist can undoubtedly be seen as contributing to the effectiveness of Solution-Focused Therapy. The personal attributes of the psychologist, on the other hand, are not thought to be essential in the recovery phase. If there is one quality that stands out, it is most likely versatility.

4.5 Counselors Are Expected to Behave in Such Ways

The bulk of the Solution-Focused Therapy approach consists of strategically formulated questions intended to evoke patient characteristics and abilities and to assist the client in determining how to effectively utilize particular abilities and skills to meet the recovery goals.

4.6 Counselor Behaviours Are Prohibited

It’s impossible to tell which, if any, individual counselor habits are usually frowned upon. Rather, there are certain habits that Solution-Focused Therapy counselors utilize just infrequently. Advice giving, counseling regarding the symptoms of alcohol or other substances, conflict, indoctrination into a particular paradigm or understanding of alcohol/other drug issues, marking of psychological or other diagnoses (e.g., codependent), insisting on abstinence, and so on are examples of these practices.

4.7 Suggestions for Supervision

There is no systematic system of Solution-Focused Therapy therapists by which the process can be supervised. The bulk of oversight is now conducted on a one-on-one basis over the phone with a recognized field supervisor. People learning the model are motivated to pursue supervision since the technique promises to be simpler to implement than it really is. Goals for monitoring are set in the same manner as treatment goals are set; that is, they are placed in response to the needs and needs of the specialist providing supervision.

5. Relationship Between Client and Counselor

5.1 What Is the Role of the Counselor?

The therapist is viewed as a collaborator/consultant paid by the customer to help them accomplish their objectives through the Solution-Focused Therapy strategy. There are two significant differences between this and the more conventional solution. To begin with, the psychiatrist is regarded as the pioneer of conventional therapy. Second, the psychologist or therapeutic style to which individual adheres also determines the aims and priorities of traditional treatment.

5.2 Who Has the Most Conversations?

In the vast number of instances, the customer is the one who speaks the most. Moreover, due to the extreme mutual aspect of the arrangement, the client’s input is deemed critical in resolving his or her concerns.

5.3 What Is the Counselor’s Degree of Status and Reputation?

The paradigm implicitly influences the participant by the usage of specialized inquiries in the bulk of client-counselor interactions. In the Solution-Focused Therapy Model, though, the psychologist is more inclined to be regulatory if prior guideline treatments were beneficial to the client or whether the patient’s point of reference regarding the supporting interaction was positive.

5.4 Therapeutic Partnership

The Solution-Focused Therapy Design was based on a community that was compelled to seek care. A grading scheme was designed to adapt questioning approaches to the particular client’s degree of commitment or desire to serve in order to facilitate productive working interactions with this clientele.

6. Populations to Be Attracted

The method was created for low-income patients who were suffering from severe alcohol or opioid addictions. Many of the participants were African-American. The bulk of Challenges to Solutions, Incorporation’s applicants are uninsured and could be impoverished before they begin therapy. However, since the concept has matured, it has been seen in a number of environments and for a variety of medical assistance populations. Patients who use a combination of medications have often benefitted from the method. The form of Solution-Focused Therapy is not used as a critical element in deciding preferential care since the paradigm emphasizes that the condition and cure are not directly associated.

6.1 Clients that Will Benefit Most from This Type of Counseling

The technique seems to be effective with a wide variety of drug-abusing customers, according to existing research.

6.2 Clients Who Aren’t Good Candidates for This Kind of Counseling

The model has provisions for coping with challenging scenarios, including those with which the model does not appear to fit.

7. Analysis

The customer fills out traditional insurance paperwork as well as any state approval criteria. These forms include a list of grievances, a client’s recovery background, a client’s background of alcohol and other substance issues, and additional information. It apart from the comprehensive questioning questions that are the trademark of the design, no systematic evaluation is done in Solution-Focused Therapy counseling. The care phase continues after the Government accreditations and insurance forms have been completed. This is due to the fact that both issues are seen as interventions. As a result, it is impossible to do an appraisal without having an effect on the customer.

Scalability inquiries are used to determine outcomes during the recovery phase and afterward in follow-up assessments at 6, 12, and 18 months. a few months

8. Content and Format of The Session

8.1 Standard Session’s Format

The first session is regarded as the most crucial interview in the recovery phase. This usually starts with a series of questions aimed at negotiating recovery objectives and orienting the individual to the capabilities and tools that would be utilized to achieve such goals. The psychologist also takes a staff break, after which individual talks with other practitioners who have seen the consultation from a one-way mirror. The treatment center’s trainees and employees make up the majority of the team. The staff and the psychologist collaborate to create a descriptive note and homework assignment tailored to the client’s expectations and motivating level.

There Are Three Different Kinds of Homework Assignments:

  1. Assistance In Changing The Patient’s Behavior
  2. Many that assist the customer in changing his or her personal beliefs or ways of thought.
  3. Those that make the customer want to come in for more sessions.

Questionnaire items are used in the second and future interviews to evoke, reinforce, and validate the improvements that the client is creating, as well as to renegotiate expectations if progress is not being made. The team split, and message elements from the first session are included in these sessions as well. According to the presence of other staff members and the state of the situation, events may or may not be shown with a group during the following meetings.

8.2 Few Popular Session Topics or Themes

The Following Are Some of The Popular Concepts in Solution-Focused Therapy:

  • The desired results in the recovery plan for the consumer.
  • The client’s assets and capital can be put to use to produce the desired result.
  • Consultation of the patient’s recent achievements.
  • Durations of exceptions and instances are discussed.
  • Alterations in the patient’s life from one session to the next are discussed.
  • Examination of the client’s behavior in order to bring about the desired improvements.
  • The relationship between the participant and the psychologist is thought to be the source of session themes.

8.3 Structure of The Meeting

The patient is responsible for the majority of the session’s material. However, as discussed in section 8.2, the paradigm and the set of questioning methods that direct the interview session have a loose framework built into them.

8.4 Popular Clinical Issues: Strategies for Addressing Them

Both client activities are viewed as attempts by the psychologist to figure out the best approach to treat each client individually. As a result, the psychologist must determine the proper way to incorporate and use whatever behavior the person exhibits. When client habits are treated as issues that must be addressed in order to maintain the legitimacy of the counseling phase, this approach fosters trust between the psychologist and the client, which is unlikely to occur. A common-sense approach has prevailed. If a person is often late for a consultation, for example, this may be considered a warning to the psychiatrist that there are so many appointments planned. Since informing the client of this, it could be suggested that the client phone on the same day that individual wishes to schedule a meeting. The customer would be treated if there was an appointment open. If no meeting were open, the customer would be advised to call back on a particular day. When it comes to more basic clinical issues, the same mindset prevails.

8.5 Conversing with Denial, Opposition, or Low Motivation Strategies

Every one of these words is seen as proof of the counselor’s challenge (or failure) in collaborating with the patient’s point of reference or incentive level in the Solution-Focused Therapy Model. When a psychologist uses the word “bad” to describe a client’s degree of confidence, it means the counselor has determined that the client is not performing at the degree that the counselor desires. As a result, there are no inappropriately motivated participants in this model; instead, counselors do not fit their clients’ frame of reference or degree of encouragement.

8.6 Coping with Conflicts: Techniques

Whenever a client is facing a problem, Solution-Focused Therapy employs a range of advanced listening approaches to help them quickly reorient their talents and resources. The managing pattern is one indication of one of these interrogation strategies. When a patient phones with a crisis, inquiries are asked that reflect on how the patient is doing or how to deal with the problem, rather than what is triggering the conflict or how horrible the patient is feeling.

8.7 Tumbles and Relapses and The Counselor’s Reaction

Since transition is unavoidable and permanent, there can be no relapses to a previous stage, only fresh and distinct encounters. As a result, such events are seen as novel experiences, problems, and also indicators of progress in this Therapy. Overall, a patient cannot slip or relapse until they have already been effective. The Solution-Focused Therapy counselor’s option in these situations is to concentrate on just what the patient was doing before the individual was experiencing more productivity and to motivate the client to start doing more of that again.  This is an excellent illustration of the model’s resource-based, proficiency-based approach.

9. Importance of Meaningful Others in The Therapy

As previously said, Solution-Focused Therapy originated as a family counseling technique. Where only a few representatives of a family group come seeking treatment, it has been found that the paradigm may have an impact on the family system and the people inside it. This could suggest that the specified person may not attend the therapy meetings, but the procedure would also benefit them. As a result, when a new client phones to schedule a consultation, the individual is instructed to bring someone that may be helpful in resolving this issue. If a particular participant, including the identified customer, refuses to attend the therapy, the willing participants are advised to attend Solution-Focused Therapy.


Campbell, T.C., and Brashera, B. The pause that refreshes. J Strat Syst Ther (13)2:65-73, 1994.Hester, R., and Miller, W.R., eds. Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches. New York: Plenum Press, 1989.


Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.Institute for the Study of Therapeutic ChangeP.O. Box 578264Chicago, IL 60657