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Solution-Focused Counseling

What is Solution-Focused Counseling?         

Solution-focused counseling (SFC) is a type of brief therapy. It is a positive, goal-oriented approach to short term therapy in which specific questions are asked that facilitate the client’s process of directing and starring in their own life “movie” in which they solve tough problems.  Examples of SFC questions are:

  • What is your goal in coming here?
  • When doesn’t your problem happen?
  • If you solved your problem what would you be doing differently?

The person’s responses to solution-focused questions reveals answers to the present problem and identifies blocks to the implementation of a plan to solve their tough problems.

The underlying philosophy of SFC is that when people are having challenges and difficulties, they may have nothing “wrong” with them such as pathology or disease. SFC is congruent with the Golden Apple Healing Arts philosophy that a person actually has all the resources within them that they need to heal. But when faced with turmoil and stress, it is often helpful to have a nurse counselor reflect those resources and strengths in a way that supports the healing process as you work through the problem whatever it may be.  Solution-focused counseling is complemented by holistic nursing philosophy and practice.

Research has demonstrated that SFC techniques quickly reduce stress by restoring a client’s sense of control and ability to assume responsibility for problems and solutions. Healing is change. To heal illnesses of any kind requires a willingness to change – behavior, thoughts, beliefs, relationships, and habits. It is human nature to resist change. So if your mind and heart tell you to change and you discover a block – try SFC! In SFC, the counselor joins the client’s view of the world and therefore all solutions come from the Self of the client and reflect rather than conflict with their religious, cultural, health and personal beliefs.

Dr. Martha Libster is a holistic Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. This means that she holds a Master’s Degree (as do nurse practitioners) and is licensed to diagnose and treat mental/emotional  diseases. However, because her practice is grounded in holistic and SFC philosophies she only focuses the plan of care on disease pathology when it is helpful to her patients. Dr. Martha has been using SFC techniques in her practice since 1999.  Her expertise is in inviting her patients to open up possibilities to do something different and do what they really want to do. By careful listening to her patients’ body wisdom those possibilities actually come from the patient. She views her role as a “translator” who helps when a person’s internal communication and body-mind-spirit connection become unbalanced in such a way as to cause excessive stress and discomfort. Her patients report, often after a single session, that they had no idea that they held keys to the solutions to their problems! Although she has helped people of all ages achieve greater balance and wholeness and solve all kinds of problems from alzheimers to zits, she specializes in the nursing care and comfort of infants and children (including the infant latent within every person), adjustment/anxiety disorders, and coping with paranormal experience. (See Dr. Libster’s Healing Services).