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Solution focused therapy

In solution-focused therapy you focus on the solution instead of the problem. From the solution we look at how to get there. In this article you can read all about solution-focused therapy.

What is solution-focused therapy?

Solution-focused therapy focuses on the possible solutions to your problem. With this form of therapy, you don’t over-analyze your problems. Instead, you get straight to the point by asking the question: what would be the solution for you? During treatment, you are considered to be the expert in your difficulties. Together with the psychologist you will work on your challenges.
Solution-focused therapy is a condensed, time-bound and goal-oriented form of therapy. The goal is to get you started on dealing with your problem in your own way, and with the help of those around you.


When should you use solution-focused therapy?

This therapy helps you when problem handling is no longer possible with your own solution skills. Solution-focused therapy is not suitable for every problem. It is mostly used for:



During a consultation, a psychologist will give you appropriate advice and it will be discussed whether solution-focused therapy is a good option for you. Solution-focused therapy is often combined with more problem-oriented therapies, including behavioral therapy and EMDR.


How does a solution-focused method of treatment work?

Solution-focused therapy starts with the miracle question:


“If some kind of miracle solved all of your problems, what would be different for you?” 


A therapist will formulate the question in such a way that you’ll start thinking outside the box. As a result, your problem-solving abilities improve and you gather practical information about how you can make positive changes for yourself.


After the miracle question, the psychologist asks further questions involving scales to narrow down the solution. This way the psychologist learns more about you and checks if the treatment is effective. Commonly used questions are:


  • If the goal you want to achieve is a 10 and 0 is the opposite, where are you on that scale right now?
  • How did you get to that number?
  • What would a higher number look like?
  • What do you need to do differently?
  • How can you gain an extra point?
  • Who or what could help you with this?


These questions all focus on making progress. By finding your own answers to these questions, you make it clear what your goal is and what you need to work on.


Identifying coping strategies

‘Coping’ is the way in which you deal with a problem. How have you handled problems in the past? What has helped you in the past? And can you use this person, things, or activities again to solve your current issue? Your psychologist will go over coping strategies with you and together you can come up with ideas for things you can currently do on your own.


Basic principles of the solution-focused method

The following principles are important in solution-focused therapy:


  • You focus on what works;
  • A complete problem-analysis is not necessary to get to the solution’
  • You determine your own goal(s);
  • People are competent. You can be confident that your goals are attainable and that you come to a solution on your own;
  • The focus is on the future;
  • Change is inevitable. You can’t go back to how it was, and even if you do nothing, time will still pass. A solution-focused approach makes the likelihood of a positive outcome much greater;
  • You take a step-by-step approach;
  • Your progress is tracked to keep your confidence and motivation high.


Find a psychologist for solution-focused therapy

At iPractice the focus on your needs is always solution-focused. iPractice is there for you, when you need it. Do you have questions about solution-focused therapy and want to know if it suits you? Or are you in doubt about when to see a psychologist?

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    Call us at 085-1308900 or contact us online. This way you can feel if there is a click and if you feel comfortable. Together, we can see if solution-focused therapy is a suitable solution for you.

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    At iPractice, you will work with 2 psychologists. Treatment consists of both online contact and regular consultation room sessions at one of iPractice’s locations. Or find out more information about the intake and treatment process at iPractice.

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    A solution-focused therapy treatment lasts from 6 to 27 weeks.

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    The costs and reimbursements depend on your insurance company and your request for help. In many cases, your health insurance company will reimburse solution-focused therapy. See when and which health insurers reimburse our care.


What is the purpose of solution-focused therapy?

The goal of solution-focused therapy is to look ahead and get you started to address your problem in your own way, and with the help of those around you.

Why solution-focused therapy?

Solution-focused therapy is effective and results-oriented. Instead of looking at the problems, the focus is on your strengths, resources and what is working.

What does solution-focused therapy cost?

Solution-focused therapy can be used as a treatment for depression and anxiety. This treatment is covered if you have a referral letter from your doctor and if your symptoms fit a DSM-5 classification such as depression.

How many sessions of solution-focused therapy do I need?

A solution-focused therapy treatment lasts from 3 to 12 sessions.

What if solution-focused therapy doesn't work?

Solution-focused therapy is an effective form of therapy and at the same time it may not suit you as a person. There are many different forms of therapy, for example, CBT, ACT, Mindfulness. It may be good to explore with your therapist what suits you better.

publish-icon Published - 19 Nov 2021
Nine has experience in the connection between physical conditions and psychological problems. She likes to use solution-focused therapy where the focus is on what is going well. You learn your own strengths, increase your autonomy and take control.
nine gramberg ipractice psycholoog
GZ-psychologist Nine Gramberg

iPractice offers everyone:

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Psychologists experienced in solution-focused therapy

camille kooijman van den brink ipractice psycholoog

Camille Kooijman – van den Brink

monique zeinstra ipractice psycholoog

Monique Zeinstra

bregje brenninkmeijer ipractice psycholoog

Bregje Brenninkmeijer