The school is a child’s second home where he must feel safe and secured, apart from learning new things. It is a social establishment open for kids, teens, and adults alike coming from various socio-economic status and cultural backgrounds for education. One of the many functions of a school is to develop and assist their students in improving their behavior according to their unique personalities and social environment.
Here is where a school counselor can help since his job is to provide psychological counseling in a fast-paced setting and a short-term approach. Why? The very reason as to why solution-focused therapy may work in schools is because the program is geared toward finding a solution with the tools you have by eyeing the goal. In this way, the issue is solved by using a person’s skills without wasting time as to who is the culprit, why the scenario happened, and who’s to blame.
What Is Solution Focused Therapy?
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is a therapy program that focuses on the now and the tomorrow. The experiences of yesterday, which brought about the problem, has no place in this type of treatment. A counselor or a social worker specializing in the practice of SFT will focus on the present and the future. He will assist the person to a resolution on the issue, instead of finding what was wrong in the past and discussing it during therapy. “Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is an effective treatment approach for youth managing anxiety.” says Anne Bodmer Lutz, B.S.N., M.D.
With this, through the cooperation of the person in treatment, the counselor can bring out ways to resolve a concern while looking out for the future and leaving the past behind. The person himself will have to submit to change and find a solution to his problem. He will have to work on it since it is a short-term goal. Why short-term? The focus is on the goal, and there is no room to recollect the negativity of the past.
(Read this article for a more in-depth idea about solution-focused therapy.)
Why Solution Focused Therapy Will Work In Schools
In schools, solution-focused therapy will work because a counselor will have to deal with hundreds of students and he cannot talk to all of them about their past problems. He can only work a program that addresses a concern head-on with a quick and effective solution. The counselor must meet with a student in at most five sessions, and by then, the goal must be attained if the student will take the treatment seriously. “Solution-focused therapy can be beneficial in helping students reduce the intensity of their negative
feelings, manage their conduct problems, improve academic outcomes like credits earned, and positively impact externalizing behavioral problems and substance use.” Johnny S. Kim and co-author, wrote.
Techniques Used By Counselors In Solution Focused Therapy
For example, there is a bullying incident. Of course, the bullied student and the bullying one will have to face the school counselor. They may be subjected to solution-focused therapy to stop the bully from behaving as such in the future. It is also to empower the bullied so that he can learn not to be a victim of such circumstance again afterward.
The counselor will then inject his SFT techniques by asking questions:
Are you someone who can solve a problem on his own? Have you tried that before and are you willing to do it again?
How do you want this situation to become at this point?
How did this happen?
How will you achieve that?
Ponder on your situation right now. How can you make it better?
If you are frustrated, it’s okay. Being frustrated is normal. Are you feeling okay with that?
What little things can you mention that may help you change or overcome this issue?
There are many more questions that an SFT counselor may ask to facilitate the sessions and those are some examples. If you notice, there is no asking in detail as to what happened in the past. The focus is on how it will be resolved positively and immediately. For kids in school, it is a useful therapy tool. “SFC [Solution Focused Counseling] uses signature questions to help focus on how clients can change.These questions are designed to allow counselors to listen to the clients’words and absorb the meanings, then formulate the next question by connecting the clients’ key words and phrases.” Elsa Soto Leggett, Ph.D., explained.