Solution-Focused Brief Counseling

Solution-Focused Brief Counseling (SFBC) “…is one of the few approaches in counseling that began as evidence-based vs. theory-driven, as most other models were” (Sabella, R. 2020).

SFBC is a great model to assist students because it allows the student to open up about how they perceive what is going on around them; encourages them to be investigative thinkers – solution finders – and eventually problem solvers.

SFBC allows students to share presenting problems while we as counselors are actively listening – seeking the student’s underlying strengths, resources, and opportunities for positive growth (Sabella, R., 2020).

SFBC is thought to be an approach that resolves problems in one session but this is not the case. You are not “…expected to do the whole whole SFBC model in one sitting” (Sabella, R., 2020). SFBC is a scaling approach which entails:

  • detailing questions
  • coping questions
  • miracle question
  • amplifying questions

The scaling approach is most effective when one scale is focused on at a time. “One way to handle the issue is to prescribe limitations and boundaries for each solution-focused meeting” (Sabella, R., 2020).

“SFBC is a future-focused, goal-directed approach to counseling highlighting the importance of searching for solutions rather than focusing on the problems. SFBC is a strengths-based approach, emphasizing resilience and resources individuals possess and how they can use them to enact purposeful and positive change”. (Sabella, R., 2020)

When we are counseling students it is obvious there are “…underlying issues…” – just remember “…there are also underlying solutions or exceptions” (Sabella, R., 2020). We will get more of what we focus on (Sabella, R., 2020).

Happy Mental Health,

M. Laurel Collins


Sabella, R. A. 2020, ‘Mythbusters’, ASCA School Counselor, vol. 57 No 3, pp 11-15.

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