In the United States, schools have used solution-focused therapy or SFT as an intervention program. Some reports also stated that since the early 1990s, educational institutions in Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa, China and Taiwan were also practicing SFT. And why is that? Well, for one, solution-focused therapy centers on finding an immediate solution to a problem. With that, issues of kids at school are dealt with quickly.
What Are The Issues Of School Kids That May Require SFT?
Some schools employ one social worker, usually a licensed counselor, to assist with student problems. In some institutions, there is one social worker per grade level. But in most cases, one professional will have to handle hundreds or near to a thousand students all year long. What are these issues that need handling, and possibly solution-focused therapy? (Read this article for more knowledge on SFT.)
Some issues are as follows:
- Behavioral concerns (ASD, ADHD, and the likes)
- Learning disabilities
- Emotional issues
- Academic problems
- Drug or alcohol use
- Teenage sex and pregnancy
How Can SFT Help With These Issues?
Why is SFT useful for these concerns? There are techniques that a qualified SFT counselor can utilize based on the program that will ultimately find solutions to these problems mentioned.
Who will find the solutions, you ask? It’s not the counselor. The student in therapy will identify his issue, process it and find a viable way to solve it. The counselor will facilitate the meeting and use techniques (questions) so that the student in therapy will look into himself and his strengths to end the problem with an affirmative answer. This is the purpose of SFT.
Techniques Used In Solution-Focused Therapy Sessions
There are at least seven important techniques that a qualified therapist or counselor can use every time there is a child in need of SFT in school.
1. The therapist will have to assist the child in searching for his strengths and skills to find solutions to his issues. For example: How can you make things better from your end? How can you improve this situation that you have now? If there is a way to solve this problem, what do you think will it be?
2. The therapist will have to use miracle questions. For example: Let’s say by miracle, all your troubles and concerns are gone instantly. But then you wake up, and it was all a dream. Something is different in you. What do you think will be that different thing?
3. The therapist will have to use scaling questions. If you are in a hospital bed and experiencing pain, the doctor will ask you, on a scale of 1 to 10, how painful is your body right now? And then, of course, you answer it with how you feel so that the doctor can treat you. In SFT, it is somewhat the same.
For example, 10 is the goal of the child in therapy in which he must attain and solve the issue. But of course, he has to pass through 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on, until he reaches ten. If he is still somewhere below ten, then the counselor will have to ask – How can you go from five to six? What actions must you take to do that?
4. The therapist will have to help the person set his objective to resolve the issue by asking goal-directed questions. For example: After this session, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? What must be done differently? The therapist will have to suggest to the child in therapy that change must happen soon, the person must act on it, and create a solution.
5. The therapist must ask exception questions. For example: Give me a reason as to when this type of problem doesn’t occur? How was it different from the situation now? What made it better? What changed?
6. The therapist will have to take a break and compliment the kid in therapy. It doesn’t have to be a long break – just three to five minutes will do. The therapist must commend the child with his coping skills and ability, and compliment him on his persistence and sociability.
7. The therapist will have to end the session with a therapy-related homework.
There are more than seven techniques used in solution-focused therapy, but these measures mentioned are most active on young students. In as short as three to five sessions, the children will find the means to solve their problems and surprisingly, a way for them to not repeat the past. Indeed, SFT in a school setting is helpful, especially if in conjunction with other therapy programs.