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Course: NEW! Solution-Focused Therapy
by John J. Murphy, PhD

CE Credit Hours: 10
Fee: $49

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This book captures solution-focused therapy's essence, which distinguishes it from problem-focused approaches that have dominated the psychotherapy profession for over a century.

What do therapists and clients talk about when therapy is effective? The development of solution-focused therapy (SFT) has been guided by the ongoing effort to answer this question. Solution-focused therapy is a collaborative approach that invites clients to describe what they want from therapy and apply the knowledge and skills they already have toward achieving it in the shortest time possible.

The three main tasks of solution-focused therapy include setting a direction based on what the client wants from therapy, building on exceptions and other resources that are already happening and available in the client's life, and exploring progress toward desired outcomes. The three main techniques of SFT are asking, listening, and amplifying. When practicing purely solution-focused therapy, the therapist does little outside of these activities.

Solution-focused principles and practices reflect the core values, ethical codes, and practice standards of professional associations and licensing boards in psychology, counseling, social work, and other helping professions. SFT has proven useful with persons from a variety of cultures and contexts, and on an array of concerns including trauma, substance misuse, and suicide prevention. It is well suited to the time constraints, third-party requirements, and other practical realities facing today's therapists and clients.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

  • Summarize the historical development of Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) to
  • provide a context for learning this therapeutic approach.
  • Describe SFT theory and explain its role in the development of this
  • therapeutic approach.
  • Compare and contrast SFT theory with the theoretical underpinnings of other
  • psychotherapy approaches.
  • Explain how the language of solutions is different from the language of
  • problems.
  • Describe the role of the therapist, client, and therapeutic relationship in the
  • SFT process and illustrate SFT in action with a variety of clients and
  • problems.
  • Explain the three core tasks of SFT and incorporate them into clinical work.
  • Describe the features of SFT that make it a culturally responsive and socially
  • just approach.
  • Summarize research that applies to evaluation of SFT and discuss frequently
  • cited criticisms and potential disadvantages of SFT.
  • Explain and evaluate suggestions for future development in SFT research,
  • practice, and training.
  • Address common obstacles, misconceptions, and questions that arise as
  • practitioners begin learning about and implementing SFT.
  • Use this introduction to core techniques of SFT to lay a foundation for further
  • learning/training in this therapeutic approach for application with current and future clients.

Syllabus / Course Instructions

  • This course is suitable for CE for beginning, intermediate and advanced level clinicians.
  • The Course consists of reading the selected book, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
  • The printed book or ebook is not included. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to for your convenience.
  • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version of the test. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
  • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers available.
Additional Resources On This Site for CE

Bio: John J. Murphy, PhD

John J. Murphy, PhD, is an internationally recognized author, trainer, and practitioner of client-directed, strength-based approaches with children, adolescents, families, and school problems. He taught high school before receiving a Ph.D. in school psychology. John spent 13 years as a full time school psychologist in Covington (KY) Public Schools before accepting a faculty appointment at the University of Central Arkansas, where he continues to work regularly with young people, families, and schools.

Lessons learned from clients and families have bolstered John's faith in people's ability to improve their lives against great odds when they are treated with dignity and respect, and when their unique strengths and resources are applied toward solutions. His unwavering belief in people's ability to change, and in the power of the helping process, is central to his client-driven, solution-focused approach to difficult problems and the people who experience them.

John was named by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) as one of the top five school psychologists in the United States in 1993, and received the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Writer of the Year Award for his book, "Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools".