Solution-Oriented Therapy is a method that focuses on the here and now. Traditional therapeutic models have been based on the notion that delving into one's past is the key to finding happiness and peace in the present. While this has validity, many people are looking for something that deals with the present and future, and offers strategies and tools to attain relief immediately.
This is the focus of Solution-Oriented Therapy. It is a hopeful approach which provides tools to solve even complex problems expediently. Clients learn to identify their objectives. Working with the therapist, clients come up with a structured set of achievable sub-goals that will help them reach these objectives. Many find this to be empowering because they see themselves achieving small successes on the way to reaching their overall aspirations.
The therapist might begin by asking the client about a challenge they anticipate facing in the near future. The therapist then will break down the situation into a series of scenarios which can be addressed one at a time. The therapist helps the client to think through each potential stressor and come up with actions that will prevent the negative outcome. Sometimes, clients will articulate conflict-ridden conversations and interactions that they believe are likely to occur. With the help of the therapist, they envision a plan to address the situation.
There are many nuances to Solution-Oriented Therapy. Sometimes it involves action plans; other times, it may involve rehearsals of positive conversations and behaviors. In all cases, the client leaves the session with the satisfaction of having achieved concrete solutions. They are able to go forward with a feeling of increased control over their life.