Linda Metcalf Explains a Solution-Focused Counseling Approach
What is solution focused counseling? Why is it different? How does it work? What can you do with it?
We asked Linda Metcalf, a professor of graduate counseling at Texas Wesleyan, who is a licensed marriage & family therapist, author, consultant and trainer to tell us what solution focused counseling is, and why it’s such an integral piece of Texas Wesleyan’s graduate counseling program.
What is solution focused counseling?
Solution focused counseling is a way of working with clients that focuses primarily on the client's strengths and abilities rather than the problem that brought them to counseling. By helping them look into the near future – by asking "a miracle question," designed to help the client focus on their preferred future – the counselor is able to ask questions regarding past successes so the client can get to the future goal.
Q: What’s different about solution focused counseling?
A: "Solution focused does not "dig into the past to uncover what is causing the dilemma." Instead, the model invites the client to look at a preferred future and work on ways to slowly bring it about. This means utilizing client's strengths in past situations that assisted the client in surviving past dilemmas."
Q: How does it work in the counseling program?
A: "The solution-focused program helps school counselors and therapists work efficiently and briefly with clients, even those struggling with "serious" situations."
Q: How do graduates take solution focused counseling to the job?
A: "Our graduates are highly sought after. School counselors who use this approach and share the ideas when interviewing, often find school administrators hiring them on the spot. Therapists who graduate find that their skills are very marketable – insurance companies clamor for their skills."