The primary approach to counseling utilized at Living Hope Family Therapy and Counseling is known as Solution Focused Brief Therapy. People often ask how this approach differs from other approaches to therapy. There are many distinguishing features, but the main one is that Solution Focused Brief Therapy focuses on the "other side of the wall." Now what in the world does that mean?
If you think of a wall that divides our present experience and circumstances from our preferred future (what we would like life to really be like), the wall could simply be labeled Our Problems. Most approaches to therapy focus on this wall. They try to solve problems, work around problems, or gain insight into problems. Sometimes they do this by either analyzing a client's present situation or their past in significant detail. The only problem with this is that what we focus on usually grows! In Solution Focused Brief Therapy we take a "mental leap" over the wall. We begin to focus on what life would be like without the problem. Attention is given to what our behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and experiences will be as we begin to live our Preferred Future. Then we begin to explore times in our life when we have experienced a bit of this Preferred Future and we look what steps might be take to help move towards this destination.
Believe me, I am fully aware that sometimes analyzing our problems and our past can be sort of fun. The experience can become something of a psychological treasure hunt. But I have found that the most effective way to help people experience deep change is to invite them to the other side of the wall. It's a whole new world and once you visit it I doubt you will want to go back.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.