Solution-Focused Well-Being Self-Help Techniques

self help techniques solution focused course

Solution-Focused Well-Being Self-Help Techniques

Text and lecture-based course, with exam

Not eligible for continuing credits


This course is suitable for anyone seeking to improve their overall quality of life by envisioning, refining, pursuing and achieving practical goals reflective of their best hopes and aspirations, discovering their own best coping strategies, developing and implementing their own uniquely effective, sustainable solutions to everyday challenges and problems.

The material in this course is also suitable for psychotherapists to give to their clients for between-session support and as therapeutic “homework.”

Solution-Focused self-help techniques differ from most others in that they help people formulate and implement positive change by looking forward, not backwards. They do not require people to excavate painful emotions or revisit traumatic past events in order to begin making positive changes. A further advantage of the solution-focused techniques in this collection is that they typically have a calming, soothing effect; researchers have found that SF techniques foster positive emotions which naturally interrupt upsetting thought patterns, provide a context of hope, and function as a natural counterbalance or “antidote” to painful or disturbing feelings.

You will learn how to use Solution-Focused Best Hope Miracle questions to formulate a description of their unique preferred future, implement Solution-Focused Scaling techniques to identify how they can most effectively move towards achieving it. You will also learn how to identify and subsequently utilize specific behaviors that are already present within their personal repertoire to effectively navigate challenging situations and strengthen their ability to cope with future stress.

The course offers:

  • Solution-focused techniques for improving quality of life
  • Solution-focused techniques for when you feel stuck
  • Solution-focused techniques for when you have the blues
  • Solution-focused techniques for challenging times
  • Future-oriented Solution-focused techniques for hope and inspiration

The techniques are illustrated with practical examples of how they can be used in everyday life followed by a Solution-Focused Self-Help Activity accompanied by detailed instructions.

(Please Note: This course is not intended as a substitute for professional help. If you are experiencing emotional or behavioral concerns we encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional in your area)

Who is this Course For?

  • People seeking to improve the quality of everyday life and cope with challenging circumstances
  • Therapists seeking supplemental supportive activities for their clients
  • This course is not available for CE credits

Last Updated: January 2021

Continuing Education

This general-interest course is not eligible for continuing education credits.

Policy Information

Once enrolled, you may begin your course at any time.

Our complete list of policies 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 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 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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