Solution-Focused Well-Being Self-Help Techniques:
For Enhanced Personal Well-Being, Coping, and Quality of Life

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Course Overview

(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)

This course is suitable for anyone seeking to improve their over-all 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 counter-balance 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. They 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 is divided into the following 5 sections: 

SF Techniques for Improving quality of Life 

SF Techniques for When You Feel Stuck

SF Techniques for When You Have the Blues

SF Techniques for Challenging Times

Future-Oriented SF Techniques for Hope and Inspiration. 

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

Course Format

You have the choice as to how you would like to engage with this course. You may download the course as a PDF/Ebook, or you may take it as a more structured course.

Who is this Course For?

  • People seeking to improve the quality of every day life and cope with challenging circumstances
  • Therapists seeking supplemental supportive activities for their clients

Continuing Education

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

Course Cost

$20.00 US

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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).

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.”

Terry S. Trepper, Ph.D., is Research Advisor and Co-Founder of the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy, and is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Purdue University Northwest. He was the Editor of the Journal of Family Psychotherapy for 30 years, and has authored/edited seven books and numerous academic articles and chapters on the SF approach. Terry’s scholarly and training interests include the evidence-basis of solution-focused therapy, systemic and solution-focused approaches to treating substance abuse, and positive psychology.

Terry has authored or co-authored books include Systemic Treatment of Incest (1990, Brunner-Mazel); 101 Intervention in Family Therapy (1998, Routledge Press);  Family Solutions for Substance Abuse (2001, Routledge Press); more Than Miracles: the State of the Art of Solution Focused Therapy (2007, Routledge Press); and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Handbook of Evidence-based Practices (2012, Oxford Press).

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

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

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

 General Information

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  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.