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.