Solution-Focused Mental Performance Counseling: Practical Techniques for Athletes, Students, Musicians and Others

Mental Performance Counseling:

Solution-Focused Mental Performance Counseling: Practical Techniques for Athletes, Students, Musicians and Others

Text and lecture-based course, with exam

3 CE Credit/Clock Hours


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The Solution-Focused Mental Performance (SFMP) counseling is a short-term goal oriented approach designed to optimize clients’ performance by identifying and utilizing the specific, oftentimes unique behaviors and cognitions that characterize their previous best achievement levels. This course provides practical SF techniques and principles that Mental Performance counselors and coaches can readily utilize to help their clients transcend anxiety, environmental distractions, and perceived limitations and build upon past successes in order to reliably replicate and ultimately exceed previous optimal performance levels at times when it matters most. This course demonstrates how the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy approach can be effectively applied to a variety of Mental Performance counseling and coaching situations including sports, academic and professional testing including test anxiety, and musical performance. Directly informed by the SFBT approach, the techniques included in this course are also consistent with principles of Positive Psychology and hope theory.

Illustrated with detailed case excerpts demonstrating applications of SFMP counseling in sports, musical and academic performance informed by the short term, goal oriented, evidence-based SFBT approach, this course offers a full range of practical techniques grounded in solid principles that can be readily applied to real-life mental performance counseling settings.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy approach reverses the traditional order of a counseling session and how this functions in Mental Performance Counseling
  • Define the Miracle 10 Question and describe how it is applied in Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling
  • Discuss how direct and indirect compliments are utilized in Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling
  • Discuss the role of Solution-Focused Exceptions in Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling
  • Describe how Solution-Focused Scaling is utilized for assessment in the Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling
  • Describe the overall process of Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling including the the goal-development process, assessment of on-going progress, and follow-up sessions
  • Recognize the major and specific Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling interventions
  • Compare how Solution-Focused Brief Therapy differs from other therapy approaches
  • Summarize how Solution-Focused Mental Performance counseling is informed by evidence-based Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and its’ relationship to Positive Psychology and hope theory

Course Assessment

There will be a 25-item multiple-choice test which is designed to assess your understanding and ability to apply the course material. You may take the exam multiple times until you pass the exam.

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 and print the certificate.

Continuing Education

3 CE Credit/Clock Hours are available for this course.

Please see our Continuing Education Information page for information about CE credits and clock hours, and our accreditations and approvals for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage & family therapists.

Students should check with their professional licensing boards to make sure that a specific course will be accepted toward their continuing education requirements.

To receive continuing education hours, the student must:

  • Enroll in the course
  • Read the learning content
  • Watch the entire online lecture
  • Complete the course exam, and receive a passing grade of 80%
  • Complete the course evaluation

Upon successful completion of the course, the student may download and print his or her Certificate of Completion.

Policy Information

Once enrolled, you may begin your course at any time and it does not expire.

Our complete policy and cancellation information can be viewed here.

Instructors and Authors

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 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 the 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.

Yvonne Dolan, MA, is the Director Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy, and has been training mental health and medical professionals in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy since 1991. She is a co-founder (with Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg) of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association (SFBTA), and Co-Founder of the International Alliance of Solution-Focused Training Institutes (IASTI). She has authored/co-authored six books (translated into nine languages) and numerous articles and chapters on the SF approach, and has conducted seminars in solution-focused treatment of trauma in 23 countries.

Yvonne’s authored or co-authored books include: A Path with a Heart: Ericksonian Utilization with Resistant and Chronic Clients. (1985, Brunner/Mazel); Resolving Sexual Abuse: Solution-Focused Therapy and Ericksonian Hypnosis for Adult Survivors. (1991, W.W. Norton. Translations in French in German); One Small Step: Moving Beyond Trauma and Therapy to a Life of Joy. (1998, Papier Mache Press, Translations in Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Dutch, Finnish, in German); Tales of Solutions :A Collection of Hope Inspiring Stories. (2001, Norton. Translated into French); Solution-focused  Brief Therapy: It’s Effective Use  in Agency Settings (2003, Routledge Press. Translated into French and Chinese); More than Miracles: the State of the Art of Solution-focused Brief Therapy (2007, Routledge Press. Translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Dutch).

Yvonne M. Dolan, MA, indicates that she has no conflicts of interest associated with this course.

Terry S. Trepper, Ph.D. is Technical Advisor at the Institute for Solution Focused Therapy. He is the author or editor of numerous articles and books in the areas of the evidence-basis of solution-focused therapy, solution-focused approaches to treating substance abuse, and positive psychology. Terry has been actively involved in the area of computer-assisted instruction and online teaching research and pedagogy since 1975.

Terry S. Trepper, PhD indicates that he has no conflicts of interest associated with this course.

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