Basic – Solution-Focused Skills and Practice for Agencies

basic solution focused agencies

Basic – Solution-Focused Skills and Practice for Agencies

Live online course

12 CE Credit/Clock Hours

The most effective way for behavioral health organization staff to learn solution-focused brief therapy skills is to have intensive guided practice. This course is designed to provide opportunities to practice the core solution-focused skills under the guidance of a master solution-focused practitioner and trainer. Participants will learn to apply solution-focused questions, construct questions to enhance hope, describe how to build a “yes-set, illustrate goal negotiation, and give examples of solution-focused scaling questions. The course provides an additive live-interactive learning dimension to our self-paced behavioral health offerings. The course includes six bi-monthly group sessions (two hours each, 12 hours total) with live interactive teaching, personal and professional training practice exercises, case presentations, role-plays, and video observations demonstrating how participants have applied solution-focused skills in their unique area of practice.

We also offer this as a self-paced customized course: BASIC Self-Paced Solution-Focused Skills and Practice for Agencies. By recording your organization’s live sessions, we can provide organizations with a customized BASIC Self-Paced Solution-Focused Skills and Practice for Agencies course that offers a sustainable, flexible, and customizable solution to provide organizations with training and continuing education even if participants cannot be present for the 12 hours of live-interactive BASIC – Solution-focused skills and practice for agencies course. The self-paced customized course also provides solutions to meet the challenges of training mental health organizations with complex staffing needs, onboarding new staff,  staff turnover, unanticipated crises that require immediate staff attention, or any of a variety of unpredictable events that make it difficult for staff to participate in all 12 hours of the live sessions.  Continuing education mandates require participants to be present for the entire live synchronous courses. This self-paced course offers a creative solution. This course has a required exam to earn continuing education credits. 

Last Updated: December  2022

Target Audience: Social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, educators, and medical professionals;  appropriate for all levels of knowledge. This course provides participants with the fundamentals of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, an evidence-based trauma-informed treatment approach that can be implemented within diverse contexts and clinical populations. 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe solution-focused skills that enhance engagement and the therapeutic alliance
  • Demonstrate fluency in core solution-focused questions
  • Demonstrate the use of evidenced-based compliments
  • Demonstrate how to discover and amplify positive differences/exceptions using solution-focused questions
  • Illustrate fluency in building an emotional “yes-set”
  • Illustrate building a shared dialect incorporating client and solution-focused language
  • Illustrate the importance of a system’s perspective using VIPS by presenting oral examples
  • Illustrate skills that facilitate the negotiation of goals and how to maintain a solution- focused conversation while gathering required clinical information.
  • Summarize qualities of well-formed goals
  • Explain ways scaling questions can be used to enhance goal negotiation including how to incorporate VIPs within scaling questions
  • Apply skills to amplify scaling 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:

  • Class Participation: Participants are invited to clarify things they do not understand, pose questions, offer ideas, and broaden perspectives. Participants are encouraged to participate in exercises and discussions.

Continuing Education

12 CE Credit/Clock Hours are available for this live 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.

Participants should check with their professional licensing boards to ensure that a specific course will be accepted for their continuing education requirements.

To receive continuing education hours, the participant must attend the entire online presentation, engage in all activities, and complete the course evaluation.

Upon successfully completing the course, participants will be given instructions on downloading and printing their Certificates of Completion.

No conflicts of interest or commercial support are present for the CE program, instructor, or presentation.

Policy Information

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.

Want More Information about Arranging Live Synchronous Training for Your Agency Staff?

The Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy provides customized staff training designed to address the unique needs and goals of mental health, human service, medical, and educational organizations. If you are interested in scheduling a time to discuss staff training options for your workplace, simply fill out and return this short form and our Director Dr. Anne Lutz will contact you to set up a Zoom consultation.

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