Solution Focused Therapy Helps Battle Addiction

Alcohol and drugs obviously create altered states of mind, but overeating, gambling, or having a sex addiction do as well. — Wendy Salazar, MFT

There are a wide array of options of therapies drug rehabilitation offers.  Each person who has addiction has specific needs, and each case is unique and that different treatments are offered.


There could be a treatment that fits you perfectly at first try, but that does not happen to all who seek treatment.  There are some who try different approaches until they found the one that works best for them.  The method that will entirely address the lurking causes of your addiction and give you the necessary gears you need to break the cycle and experience long-term recovery.


One that is most common and found useful therapy option, especially for individuals rushed in the emergency rooms, is solution-focused therapy.



This therapy is goal oriented that focuses on the desired outcome of therapy as a solution and not just focusing on the symptoms or issues that caused a person to seek treatment.


With the assistance from the therapist, the patient is encouraged to visualize the future he wants, and then the therapist and client will collaborate on a series of steps to take in order to achieve that goal.


It is essential to determine the skills, resources, and abilities a person already possesses that can be enhanced to achieve their goal or goals.


…the only way to look at Addiction is as both a psychological addiction AND a physical addiction that are inextricably liked through our psyche’s presence in the brain, a physical part of the body. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.

How Does Solution Focused Therapy Work?

It is assumed that the person has the inherent skills to create change in his life.  He just needs assistance to identify and cultivate those skills.


Therapists trained to practice this form of therapy have learned that most people have previously solved problems in his life and probably have some ideas on how to address the current issue.  With this type of therapy, the person is aware of what change is necessary for his life, and the therapist is able to help him clear up his goals.


The therapist and the client work together in identifying what line of attack have been proven effective in the past and will try to use the same methods.  They will also work on the techniques that may not work or something that may need fine-tuning and will assist the patient strengthens those weaknesses.


Solution-focused therapy also aims to aid those people in recovery to manage their symptoms and cope with the challenges of recovery healthily and positively.


Types Of Questions That Guides The Session


Coping Questions.  The therapist asks the client how he has been able to keep moving forward despite the hardship he faces.  It helps the client see that he is not helpless at all.  He is not powerless in fighting his addiction.  Examples are:

  • How were you able to get through yesterday?
  • How did you manage not to make things worse?
  • How do you take care of your day to day when there seems to be no hope?


These questions make patients realize that they are strong in that they were already able to overcome past challenges.


Miracle Questions.  These are questions that allow the patient to see a future where his present problems no longer exist.  Miracle questions help the patient explain how his life would look different if the issue is no longer there.  That then assists him in finding practical ways he can take to change how he resolves the problems.


Scaling Questions.  Scaling questions are the use of a scale of zero to ten to measure how the patient is progressing concerning ways he handles certain situations.  It can measure the success, gauge motivation, assess confidence, and see how the patient manages on his own without help from his therapist.

Once you’ve identified yourself as someone in recovery, it becomes important to reengage with the world around you in new and different ways. — Deanna Richards, LMHC

Solution-focused therapy helps the client find his strengths that he is not aware is inherent in him.  It allows both the therapist and the patient to see the right method of how the issues can be solved and at the same time eliminate self-sabotaging the patient may do to himself.  As they address today’s problems, they may be able to plan for a better future.


You may be aware that there is just no one size fits all addiction treatment, but highly experienced therapists can assist you through strength-based therapy technique in determining your own unique treatment based on your specific situation.