Level 1 Solution-Focused Practitioner Certification Online Course

Course Overview

This course provides an opportunity to practice the core solution-focused skills. This course provides ten – 90 minute bi-monthly group sessions with live interactive teaching. There will be required personal and professional training practice exercises, case presentations, role-plays, and a final “cap stone” presentation demonstrating how each student has applied solution-focused skills in their area of practice.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy’s Level 1 Solution-Focused Practitioner Certification Program. Application coming soon.

Course Format

This course is an online, live (synchronous) text and lecture-based course with exams.

Learning Objectives

The specific Learning Objectives of the course are as follows. After completing the course, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe principles of solution-development and how these differ from problem-solving
  • Demonstrate fluency in core solution-focused questions
  • Demonstrate the use of problem-free talk in case examples
  • Demonstrate the use of evidenced-based compliments
  • Illustrate the importance of a system’s perspective using VIPS by presenting, both written and oral examples
  • Illustrate fluency in building an emotional “yes-set”
  • Illustrate building a shared dialect incorporating solution-focused language
  • Summarize qualities of well-formed goals
  • Explain ways scaling questions can be used to enhance goal negotiation
  • Apply skills to amplify scaling questions
  • Demonstrate how to integrate a scale within the miracle question
  • Demonstrate how to discover and amplify positive differences/exceptions using solution-focused questions
  • Integrate solution-focused safety questions within a case
  • Apply solution-focused practices to work setting interactions or particular area of interest

Course Assessment

Participants will be assessed in the following manner. Evaluation rubrics will be posted at the beginning of the course.

  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. Written log/Journal: Students will be expected to keep a written log of the activities, readings, practice exercises, case studies, learning reflections, video observations, professional diary, and any other personal professional practice training activities. These assignment journal exercises will be assigned bi-monthly.
  3. 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.

Course Certificate of Completion

After you have completed all of the sections, passed each of the section exams, and completed the course evaluation, you will receive your certificate of completion for the course. You will be able to save the certificate as a PDF file, from which you will also be able to print it.

Course Cost

$1,400.00 US


Anne Bodmer Lutz, B.S.N., M.D. is the Director of the Institute for Solution Focused Therapy. She was trained by the founders of Solution-Focused Brief therapy, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. She is a board-certified adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester MA, and was a nurse before becoming a physician. Anne currently practices as a child and family psychiatrist  at Doctor Franklin Perkins School and has a private practice in West Boylston Massachusetts where she integrates solution-focused practices in her treatment of children and families. She provides direct clinical supervision, teaching, and training to medical students and psychiatric residents, workshops for community-based treatment organizations, agency based training and coaching in Solution-Focused Therapy. She has worked for many years integrating solution-focused practices in community mental health, residential treatment and with adolescents and families coping with substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Anne is the author of Learning Solution-Focused Therapy: An Illustrated Guide (2014, American Psychiatric Press) which includes over 30 videos and many case examples focusing on “how to” implement this approach, along with numerous articles, and chapters in books. She received a Massachusetts Course of Distinction award in 2016 for online and blended learning course entitled “Solution-Focused Fundamentals and Practice.”

Anne Bodmer Lutz, MD indicates that she has no conflicts of interest associated with this course.

 General Information

Continuing education information will be provided for each course when the courses are officially launched in Fall 2020

If a live program must be cancelled for any reason, an alternative date will be selected. If the program cannot be rescheduled, a full refund will be issued. If a registrant must cancel, he or she must cancel at least seven (7) business days before the event in order to receive a refund, minus a 20%  administrative fee. If in the unlikely event a self-paced, asynchronous online course is canceled or removed after a student has enrolled but before the student received his or her certificate of completion, a full refund for the course will be given to the student.

All courses offered by the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy are offered in English, and it is assumed that students enrolling in courses are proficient in the English language.

To be accepted into the Level 1 Solution-Focused Practitioner Certificate Program, non-native English applicants must demonstrate a high level of written and spoken English proficiency. More information about this requirement will be given on the application for that certificate program.

All courses offered by the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy require a moderate professional level of computer proficiency.  All courses require high-speed internet with reliable access. While the Institute’s online courses can be taken using a tablet or other large-screen mobile devices, the educational experience will be enhanced by taking the courses on a desktop or laptop computer.
A registrant who is dissatisfied with any aspect of a course may contact the Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Anne Bodmer Lutz at anne@solutionfocused.net.  Every effort will be made to address the matter to the registrant’s satisfaction. If the registrant is not fully satisfied, a course refund will be provided. Please note that the Institute’s liability is limited to and cannot exceed the course registration fees.
All courses offered through the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy LLC are solely educational. The clinical, educational, social service or business consultative work performed by trainees/students is the trainee’s sole responsibility. The courses offered are not to be considered clinical supervision and are not intended to supplant the required degrees and certificates required to legally practice in a given jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the trainee to obtain supervision, both clinical and administrative, from appropriate professionals. The Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy LLC 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. The Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy LLC's liability does not extend beyond student course fees.