What to Look for in a Solution Focused Brief Therapist for Your Child

Photo of a white teen male holding a coffee cup and walking with a Latina teen also with a coffee cup and an African American male teen. They are all smiling as they walk down the street conversing with each other which could represent how much better they feel since starting online anxiety treatment for teens with a Solution Focused Brief Therapist in Illinois.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is growing more popular every year and with good reason.

Not only does this evidenced-based counseling approach continue to produce excellent results but it does so in only a fraction of the time. In fact, the average number of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) sessions is only 5 compared to more traditional therapy models that require 12-20 sessions.

This is great news for kids and teens who may have been hesitant before to start traditional counseling because it requires a lengthy commitment of time and energy. Discovering they can resolve their problems much more quickly with SFBT is a relief to many young people.

As Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) has become more popular AND online therapy has expanded due to COVID-19, you now have more options when it comes to finding the right SFBT therapist for your child. But while it’s great to have options, it can also feel overwhelming. How do you narrow down your choices?

How to Choose a Solution Focused Brief Therapist

Here are 4 criteria to consider when selecting an SFBT therapist.

SFBT training

The most important criteria in the selection of a therapist should be their training. Many therapists utilize a variety of counseling theories and approaches when working with clients but that doesn’t mean they’re experts in all of them. You want to make sure they’ve had in-depth training in this specialized approach. Exposure to or average knowledge of SFBT is not sufficient.

You can expect a qualified SFBT therapist to have taken multiple trainings in order to increase their competency and confidence. So, take the time to inquire about additional courses, workshops, and seminars the therapist has taken in order to sharpen their skills in the Solution Focused Brief Therapy approach.

SFBT certificate program

A step up from training is a certificate program. In a certificate program, the therapist receives instruction and training to acquire specific competencies, knowledge, and/or skills. They are evaluated based on their mastery of detailed learning objectives and are awarded a certificate to recognize that mastery. Most certificate programs require anywhere from 30-40 hours of training and practice on the part of the therapist.

SFBT is not an easy counseling approach to master. It takes patience, skill, and lots of practice. But most therapists who try this approach quickly become purists – meaning they begin to use SFBT exclusively – because it produces such good results. Thus, a certificate program with its investment of time, money and energy can tell you a lot about how committed an SFBT therapist is to this approach.

When searching for an SFBT therapist, don’t be afraid to ask about certification and whether they use Solution Focused Brief Therapy with all their clients. Their answer will give you a good indication of their commitment to SFBT and corresponding skill level.

Specialization in kids and teens

Equally important, you want to make sure the therapist has a specialty in working with kids and teens as well as in the issue that brings them to counseling (for example, anxiety).

You may consider asking a potential SFBT therapist the following questions:

  • How long have you been working with kids and teens?
  • What is your experience treating anxiety in children?
  • What drew you to this specialty and why do you enjoy it?
  • Have you completed specific training using SFBT with kids and teens?

As you have a conversation with the therapist, pay attention to their communication style, personality, and warmth (or lack thereof). Would your child like this therapist? Would they be a good fit personality wise? These considerations are important and often make the difference between your child investing their whole selves into therapy or not.

Online capabilities

An SFBT therapist who offers telehealth may or may not be important to you, depending on where you live. For many people who live in less populated areas, virtual counseling sessions can be a godsend. Online counseling allows your child to log on to their screens at the appointed time and meet face to face with their therapist. Online sessions save time and energy, and many kids and teens report that they actually prefer online counseling to office visits.

If you and your child choose to see an SFBT therapist online, make sure the therapist is both comfortable and familiar with the unique challenges associated with treating your concerns through telehealth. Ask about their training to provide telehealth and what platform they use to ensure privacy and confidentiality. And finally, make sure that the therapist you decide to see is licensed in the state you are physically located in.

Begin Online Counseling for Kids and Teens with Anxiety in Illinois

If your child is currently struggling with anxiety and you would like to give Solution Focused Brief Therapy a try, I’d love to help. Counseling can help your child reduce their anxiety as well as rebuild their confidence and coping skills. As an experienced and caring therapist, I love providing online anxiety treatment. To start your child’s counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Schedule an Appointment button
  2. Select a day and time in my online calendar
  3. Watch your child gain confidence and become happier

Other Counseling Services at Briefly Counseling

Anxiety counseling for kids and teens isn’t the only service I offer in my Chicago and Illinois online counseling practice. Other mental health services provided by Briefly Counseling includes Christian counseling.

Helena Madsen, MA, LCPC is the founder of Briefly Counseling. I specialize in providing online short-term anxiety treatment for kids and teens ages 7 – 19 in Chicago and Illinois.

I provide all services via online therapy in Illinois. So whether you’re in Naperville, Chicago, Champaign, Rockford, Libertyville, or Crystal Lake, I can help you. Schedule your appointment or consultation today. I look forward to working with your child to quickly and effectively help them in activating their strengths, resources, and resilience, in order to live with confidence and hope.

Visit my website at www.BrieflyCounseling.com for more information or call 224-236-2296 to connect with me personally.