What is Solution-Focused Couples Therapy?

Often times, couples seek professional counseling help far too late after having experienced years of tension and built-up resentment.  In order to avoid becoming a statistic in the nation’s soaring divorce rate, it is important to select a mental health professional who practices Solution-Focused Couples Counseling.

Solution-Focused Couples Counseling, as the name implies, is geared toward helping couples devise practical solutions for their problems focused on meeting each other’s needs. The primary assumption of Solution-Focused Couples Counseling is that relationships succeed or fail to the extent that couples meet each other’s needs and place their partner’s need on par with their own needs.

Solution-Focused Couples Counseling is a type of psychotherapy that is active, goal-driven, and focused on the here-and-now.  The central question posed by a mental health professional who practices this type of psychotherapy is “What would you be doing differently if you were doing a better job of meeting this particular need of your partner?”

There are a variety of exercises employed in the practice of Solution-Focused Couples Counseling.  One type of exercise has the couple come up with a list of what they perceive one another’s needs are. This allows for honest communication about needs and a chance to dispel misunderstandings.  Another exercise allows the couple to define specifically, in behavioral terms, what they can do to meet each other’s needs. Over the course of therapy, the couple reports back to the mental health professional how they are doing with trying out new sets of behaviors.  The emphasis is on having the couple offer each other positive feedback to try to build in more goodwill, encouragement, and engender optimism that the relationship can succeed.