Solution-Focused Skills And Practice For Agencies

Course Overview

The most effective way to learn solution-focused professional skills is to have intensive guided practice. This course is designed to provide practical skills and opportunities to practice the core solution-focused skills under the guidance of a master solution-focused practitioner and trainer. This course provides an additive live-interactive synchronous learning dimension to our asynchronous agency course offerings. This course is designed to provide practical skills and opportunities to practice the core solution-focused skills. The course provides eight – 90 minutes (12 hours) of bi-monthly group sessions with live interactive teaching, personal and professional training practice exercises, case presentations, role-plays, and an optional final presentation from participants demonstrating how they have applied solution-focused skills in their unique area of practice.

Course Format

Solution-Focused Skills and Practice for Agencies is an online, live (synchronous), lecture and practice-based course. Participants will have an opportunity to share practice exercises, successes, and challenges while building the participant’s confidence in the solution-focused approach within their unique practice context.

Learning Objectives

The specific Learning Objectives of the course are as follows. After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe solution-focused skills that enhance engagement and the therapeutic alliance
  2. Demonstrate fluency in core solution-focused questions
  3. Demonstrate the use of evidenced-based compliments
  4. Demonstrate how to discover and amplify positive differences/exceptions using solution-focused questions
  5. Illustrate fluency in building an emotional “yes-set”
  6. Illustrate building a shared dialect incorporating client and solution-focused language
  7. Illustrate the importance of a system’s perspective using VIPS by presenting oral examples
  8. Illustrate skills that facilitate the negotiation of goals and how to maintain a solution- focused conversation while gathering required clinical information.
  9. Summarize qualities of well-formed goals
  10. Explain ways scaling questions can be used to enhance goal negotiation including how to incorporate VIPs within scaling questions
  11. Apply skills to amplify scaling questions
  12. Integrate solution-focused safety questions within a case
  13. Apply solution-focused practices to work setting interactions or particular area of interest

Course Assessment

Participants will be assessed in the following manner.

  1. Class Participation: Discussions, practice exercises, and participation invite participants 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. Participants are invited to clarify things they do not understand, pose questions, offer ideas, and broaden perspectives.
  2. Written log/Journal: Participants are encouraged to keep a written log of practice exercises provided following each session and discussed at the subsequent session.
  3. Optional Participant Presentation: At the end of the course, participants will be invited to share an optional presentation exemplifying how they have integrated Solution-Focused practices in their work. Our hope is for participants to become an “expert” on a particular aspect of Solution-Focused practice relative to their particular area of professional expertise. The presentation can be developed in any format and 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 the course and completed the course evaluation, you will receive your certificate of completion. You will be able to save the certificate as a PDF file, from which you will also be able to print it.

CE Credit/Clock Hours

12 CE Credit/Clock Hours

Course Cost

Pricing varies according to agency needs. Please contact us and consider scheduling a pre-training agency consultation.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education credit information will be available when the course is launched. To receive continuing education hours, the student must attend each session, participate completely with all activities, and complete the course evaluation.


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.

 General Information

If a live program must be cancelled for any reason, an alternative date will be selected. If the program cannot be rescheduled, a full refund will be issued. If a registrant must cancel, he or she must cancel at least seven (7) business days before the event in order to receive a refund, minus a 20%  administrative fee. If in the unlikely event a self-paced, asynchronous online course is canceled or removed after a student has enrolled but before the student received his or her certificate of completion, a full refund for the course will be given to the student.

All courses offered by the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy are offered in English, and it is assumed that students enrolling in courses are proficient in the English language.

To be accepted into the Level 1 Solution-Focused Practitioner Certificate Program, non-native English applicants must demonstrate a high level of written and spoken English proficiency. More information about this requirement will be given on the application for that certificate program.

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.