Solution-Focused Fundamentals and Practice
Sponsored by The Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy
Save the Date: 7/30/18-8/3/18
Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston, MA

The Solution-Focused Summer Intensive provides a rigorous 5- day certificate program in Solution-Focused Fundamentals and Practice. Yvonne Dolan and Anne Lutz invite you to join us for a summer intensive in Solution-Focused Fundamentals and Practice in the beautiful setting of Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, MA, less than an hour away from both Boston and Providence Rhode Island. Tower Hill features 17 distinct gardens, preserved woodlands, and miles of walking trails. This intensive will provide the fundamentals of the solution-focused approach, applications of this method with substance use, trauma, children and families, anxiety, schools, the medical setting, supervision, and solution-focused strategies in wellness. The workshop will be taught using a combination of didactics, role-plays, ample video examples, exercises and case discussions. There will be plenty of opportunities to network, build relationships and have a forum to exchange and collaborate on ideas. All hours can be used toward Level One Certificate Solution-Focused Practitioner.


At the heart of all therapy lies the human relationship. The therapeutic alliance with our clients is the base from which all therapy begins. Knowing how to navigate the complexities and nuances of establishing a therapeutic alliance, especially in the initial encounter, is arguably one of the most important skills to master. The development and maintenance of the therapeutic relationship is a primary curative component of therapy, providing the context in which specific techniques exert their influence. Day 1 will focus on how to uncover, amplify and diagnose strengths, resources, and positive attributes in a client’s life that are critical for a positive therapeutic outcome, while also strengthening the therapeutic alliance.


Negotiating goals with clients is an essential skill in solution-focused therapy. In all forms of treatment, both the clinician and the client work on establishing criteria that tell them when they have succeeded and can end therapy. This necessitates the clinician and client collaboratively developing measures for success. It is one thing to know where you don’t want to be, but quite another to see where you want to go instead. Negotiating goals with clients help define the direction of treatment, determines whether treatment is successful, and strengthens the treatment alliance. Day 2 will focus on how a solution-focused clinician negotiates the goals and tasks of therapy.


Completing a clinical evaluation is a highly skilled endeavor. Today we will learn how to maintain a solution-focused conversation while getting the required diagnostic information. We will focus on how to add a solution-focused component to a review of systems. We will also get a taste of solution-focused rating scales. As Insoo Kim Berg said, being solution-focused does not mean you are “problem-phobic.” In the solution-focused approach, client’s problems are contextualized and viewed through a competency-based lens, through the use of carefully constructed questions.

Evaluation of safety issues including suicidal and self-harming behaviors is critical when evaluating clients in treatment. Solution-Focused questions are valuable in safety planning and can help to collaboratively concretize a safety plan in detailed behavioral ways. We will broaden our knowledge of client protective factors and learn how to perform a “survival assessment”.


For the next two days, we will learn how to apply and generalize solution-focused approaches in different settings, and of course, continue to practice our skills. I am so excited about having Yvonne Dolan join us! We will discuss how the Solution-focused approach is utilized in the treatment of trauma, substance use disorders, and in the treatment of children and families. We will also learn about how to integrate Solution-focused approaches when treating clients with medications and in medical settings, in health and wellness, and how to provide solution-focused supervision and consultation.

Cost: $1200.00, includes breakfast and lunch, CEUS (Are in process) and certificate.