Solution focused therapy improvises a way to help individuals seek solutions to their own problems. Whether individuals needed help in relationships or their personal lives, it has been a success for many students and counselors.
The Glick House Community Counseling Center provides the help of therapists who are specialized in solution focused therapy. The counselors include students from the graduate counseling program and clinical graduate faculty members. Linda Metcalf, professor of graduate counseling, happens to have a private practice at the Glick House.
“The solution focused counselor does not go in trying to fix anything, they are not the expert instead they see the client as the expert,” Metcalf said. “The word positive is usually what people say about it but it is really not that positive of a process it’s a curious process.”
Metcalf said the process sounds pretty simple but it can be complicated. She sees clients with every kind of problem from eating disorders, depression, anger, to marriage and family issues.
“The solution focused counselor believes there have been times in that client’s life when things have gone well,” Metcalf said. “We quickly turn it [counseling session] into ‘tell me about times when things were slightly better,’ inevitably it always is.”
Metcalf said those who are interested in counseling can make an appointment. The sessions typically last an hour.
“I typically see people maybe five or six times at the most because it’s not a model that goes into details of the past, people tend to get better pretty quick,” Metcalf said. “People are competent, they just get blind-sided by the things that get in their way and they forget the times when they’ve been successful.”
Metcalf said every summer she takes a student to London to learn about solution focused therapy at Bries Therapy practice.
“We learn about it for two weeks, and students come back excited because it is a great way to work and be a counselor,” Metcalf said.
If a student is looking for a counselor there are many ways to find people who do solution focused therapy, and there are a plenty in the Glick House that are specialized in the process, Metcalf said.
“In addition to solution focus I use a little something called narrative therapy with that because the narrative therapy is similar to solution focus only it believes our lives are like stories and they are,” Metcalf said. “The way we story things either help us do well or help us not do well.”
Rebekah Bynum, graduate counseling student and practicum student intern at the Glick House, said solution focused therapy works for her as a counselor because it is very brief.
“It is very goal oriented, so it helps the client recognize their goal, some people just come in with a problem and don’t realize what they would like to be better in their lives,” Metcalf said. “They just know they don’t want that problem to happen anymore.”
Bynum said the therapy keeps people from focusing on what is wrong in their lives and figuring out what could be better.
Monica Maldonado, junior education major, said at the Glick House they are able to work around a student’s schedule.
“I loved being able to talk to someone I didn’t have to see everyday. It was nice talking to someone who did not have any bias on the things going on. It was a friendly environment,” Maldonado said.