Level 1 Certification Process Overview

We are so excited that you are interested in becoming certified as a level I practitioner in solution focused therapy and invite you to learn more about the process! Below is an overview of the process within our Institute. Please contact the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy for specifics and questions about how you or your institution can complete certification.

Within the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy, we offer several ways to get certified including on-site, on-line, and a yearly intensive course.

In order to complete certification, the requirements include:

  1. Successfully complete 50 hours of direct, in-person instruction from a certified trainer, some of which can also include synchronous on-line (In real time) instruction.
  2. Successfully complete 100 hours of educational practice activities in which you demonstrate competency in practicing and applying Solution-Focused principles and techniques in a manner appropriate to your profession in accordance with internationally recognized standards. Successful completion of The “Solution-Focused Certification Log” provided by the Institute will fulfill these requirements.
  3. Successfully complete a written exam demonstrating your basic knowledge in the solution focused approach.
  4. Share a presentation exemplifying how you integrate Solution-Focused practices in your work. You will become an “expert” on a particular aspect of Solution-Focused practice relative you your particular area of professional expertise. The presentation will include how solution focused practices have been transformative personally and professionally in your work.

Course Materials:

Materials are available electronically. Each week participants are asked to read course content related to a specific topic, and complete an activity related to the solution-focused skills being discussed. Course information is presented by unit and week.

Required Text:

Lutz, Anne B. (2014). Learning Solution-Focused Therapy: An Illustrated Guide. American Psychiatric Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58562-452-2 (First Edition)

Supplemental Readings:

There will be supplemental readings and videos throughout the course that will be provided by the training instructor.

Solution-Focused Certification Log:

Structured readings, video and practice exercises will be provided by the Institute to coincide with the weekly units. Successful completion of the log will fulfill the 100 hours of practice activities required for level I certification.


Interested participants must possess a degree in a human service field (e.g., counseling, social services, nursing, psychology, medicine, education, nutrition, teaching), and be licensed or credentialed to practice in the field within their jurisdiction, or are working in an organized system under supervision. Successful completion of this course will result in eligibility to apply for Level 1 Solution-Focused Practitioner Certification in Solution-Focused practices through The International Alliance of Solution-Focused Teaching Institutes (IASTI).

This course is solely educational. The clinical, educational, social service or business consultative work performed by trainees/students is the trainee’s sole responsibility. It is the responsibility of the trainee to obtain supervision, both clinical and administrative, from appropriate professionals. The Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy assumes no responsibility for the clinical, educational, social service, business consulting, or any other professional work of those professionals who received educational training from its staff. All responsibilities and liabilities rest with the professionals providing those services.

Certification Course Objectives

At the end of the certification course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe principles of solution development and how this differs from problem solving
  2. Demonstrate solution-focused skills that enhance engagement and the therapeutic alliance
  3. Illustrate skills that facilitate the negotiation of goals and how to maintain a solution- focused conversation while gathering required clinical information.
  4. Apply solution- focused practices to different settings
  5. Generate a presentation exemplifying how you integrate solution-focused practices in your unique work setting

The course will be a combination of the following:

  1. Text readings – This will include chapter readings as well as other articles and readings provided by the instructor.
  2. Lectures/ Direct Instruction – 50 hours of direct in-person instruction from a certified trainer. These hours can also include synchronous on-line (In real time) instruction.
  3. Videos and Case Studies – There will be opportunities to watch videos both in the class and at home. The text provided has many video illustrations, and additional video material will be offered both during and between classes.
  4. Solution focused certification log. There will be weekly written topic-related assignments that include reading assignments, weekly practice exercises focusing on the topics discussed, case studies, learning reflections, and video observations.
  5. There will be a one final written exam. This will assess your general understanding of the material.
  6. Student Presentation: Students will be required to share a presentation exemplifying how you integrate Solution-Focused practices in your work.

Methods of Assessment:

  1. Class Participation: Discussions, practice exercises, and participation invite students to learn from one another. By sharing your knowledge, perspectives and experiences, as well as challenging one another in respectful ways, you will strengthen your understanding of the course material. Students are invited to clarify things they do not understand, pose questions, offer ideas, and broaden perspectives.
  2. Solution focused certification log: Students will be expected to keep a written log of the activities, readings, practice exercises, case studies, learning reflections, video observations, and any other personal professional practice training activities. These assignment journal exercises will be provided to you in the Solution-Focused Certification Log and will fulfill the required 100 hours of professional practice activities.
  3. Video case studies: Students will be asked to share video conversations utilizing solution-focused practices.
  4. Final test: The written exam is designed to promote general understanding of the material.
  5. Student Presentation: At the end of the course, students will be required to share a presentation exemplifying how you integrate Solution-Focused practices in your work. Students will become the “experts” on a particular aspect of Solution-Focused practice relative to their particular area of professional expertise. The presentation can be developed in any format as long as it is accessible to the class. It should include a brief description of the topic and links to the Solution-Focused practices learned from the course.