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Course Title

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): Foundations Part 1

Course Number

ISCA 803

Course Overview

Do you find yourself feeling stuck and wondering how to manage a situation or student? Do you feel you have tried everything and nothing seems to make a difference? Are you willing to engage in some experiments in dealing with tricky situations? Are you willing to ‘think outside the box’ and engage in a different pathway to change management?

SFBT Foundations Part 1 provides essential elements for understanding the origins, history, development, philosophy, key assumptions, and the basic structure for conducting a first session process in SFBT.

SFBT is known for its elegant use of questions and the unique way these questions are formulated. SFBT is an evidence-based practice with robust research. The most successful application of SFBT has been in the educational sector, in school counseling and classroom management.

Participants will be led through the solution building process, step by step. Each step includes sharing content, application of SF-oriented questions, followed by a demo and practice.

The format includes sharing information on powerpoint slides paired with a manual, small and big group discussions, practice and watching video clips.

The SFBT process involves:

  • Rapport building and creating trust and safety with students: (the ‘who’)
  • Co-constructing the desired outcome: establishing ownership and customership with students (the ‘what’)
  • Application of solution building tools
  • Miracle Question
  • Scaling Question
  • Coping Question
  • Relationship Question
  • Exception-Finding Questions
  • Evidence based Compliments
  • Wrapping up the session

Certification Pathway

If you’re interested in earning certification, this module can be applied.

Certification: “Certified Solution Focused Practitioner” Requirements, Total 50 hrs

**Upon successful completion of the full 50 hours, participants will earn: "Certified Solution Focused Practitioner” certification, from Academy of Solution Focused Training, Accredited by IASTI.

This course will support you in providing strategies for your students to be able to:

  • Raise awareness in themselves and their social environment by exploring attitudes and behaviors to manage and cope successfully  (Competency SE: A1: 1-13)

  • Process and explore relationship issues as they emerge to enhance the student’s ability to manage them effectively (Competency SE: A2: 1 - 8)

  • Increase their confidence in working through challenging situations and be able to resolve them independently or know when to seek outside support (SE: B1, 1 – 6)

  • Raise awareness regarding signs of safety and risky situations regarding self and others and be able to openly discuss and process (SE: C1: 2-10)

  • Identify, discuss and process attitudes and behaviors that create challenges related to cultural issues (GP: A1:9)

This course is aligned to the following school counselor standards and competencies:

  • This course supports the Mindsets and beliefs represented in M 1 – 7 which are in alignment with the SF Core Assumptions taught in this course
  • This course is aligned with the Behaviors demonstrated in by the following by addressing these areas during the course:
    • B-PF 1: Apply development learning, counseling and educational theories
    • B-PF 4: Apply school counseling standards and competencies
    • B-PG 6: Demonstrates understanding of cultural, social and environmental influences.
    • B-SS 3: Provide short-term counselling in small group and individual settings
    • B-SS 4: Make appropriate referrals
    • B-SS 6: Collaborate with families, teachers, etc

Intended Audience

The relevance of this course extends to anyone involved in the care, education, support and services for students in the educational environment: learning support staff; counselors; administration, etc. This course not only teaches specific skills used in a counseling setting, it also shares a philosophy and mindset that creates a cohesive approach that can be embodied throughout the school environment, that maximizes the academic and social-emotional growth of students. The core SF mindset is based on mutual respect, collaboration and belief in the competence and ability of each person.

Essential Questions

  • How does understanding the history and philosophy of SFBT enhance its effective application in education?
  • How do unique solution-focused questions in SFBT contribute to better communication in educational settings?
  • How can the step-by-step solution building process be practically applied to address challenges in education?
  • How can school counselors adapt solution-focused techniques to address diverse student populations and unique challenges within a school setting?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • The origins and roots of Solution Focused thinking
  • The mindset and philosophy of SF and why it is so radical
  • The key Assumptions of SF
  • The basic framework for the first session process
  • Use solution focused brief therapy in a real counseling situation with students
  • Differentiate between problem solving and solution focused practice
  • Expand the application of SF to a wider context within their school environment, ie with parents, peers and management.
  • Adopt solution focused thinking in personal situations
  • Adopt solution focused thinking as a framework for day-to-day challenges and dilemmas

About the Facilitator

Debbie Hogan, MS, MSFT, MCC

Debbie has been in the mental field for more than 30 years. She has a BS in Psychology, an MS in Counseling, is a Certified Master Solution Focused Therapist, and a Master Clinical Member and Clinical Supervisor with the Singapore Association for Counseling. Her first 7 years were in psychiatric mental health in the USA where she worked in local mental health services and state psychiatric hospitals.

Currently, she is in private practice and specializes in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her client base includes children, couples and families. Her clinical experience spans a wide spectrum of psychiatric and psychological issues, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, stress, self-harm, addictions, school based issues, conflict management and relationship issues.

Debbie has worked extensively with local and international schools, as an individual and team supervisor, and in counseling teachers, students and staff. She has provided Critical Incidence Debriefing during 9-11, the tsunami, bombings and other trauma related incidents with students, teachers and staff. She has also conducted many workshops and training related to transition and Third Culture Kid issues. She has trained many counselors and teachers in solution focused approaches in their schools.

Debbie specializes in Solution Focused Brief Therapy and trained with the developers, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer in 1999. She started the Academy of Solution Focused Training in 2004 and was the first to bring certification in SF therapy and SF Coaching to Asia. Her company is accredited with 3 international certifications, Canadian Council of Professional Certification (CCPC) and International Alliance of Solution Focused Teaching Institutes (IASTI), and is a founding member. She is also an ICF Credentialled Coach as a Master Certified Coach (MCC) and runs an ICF accredited coach training school in Solution Focused Coaching.

Debbie has contributed to several articles and books, including Knowing Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer, The Art of Solution Focused Therapy, and was the editor of Solution Focused Practice in Asia, and Solution Focused Practice Around the World. She is currently an editor for Solution Focused Coaching in Asia and Solution Focused Supervision for Coaches, due to be published in 2024.

Debbie is a Third Culture Kid, married to a Third Culture Kid and their daughter is a second generation Third Culture Kid. Debbie has lived in the US, Japan, Okinawa, New Guinea and now resides in Singapore where she has lived and worked for the past 36 years. She enjoys gardening, swimming, going to the gym and watching movies.

Dates and times of offerings

Option 1: June 25, 27 and July 2 @ 1 - 5 PM GMT (4 hours each day)

Option 2: June 25, 27 and July 2 @ 7 - 11AM GMT (4 hours each day)

Option 3: Sept 30, Oct 7, 14 and 21, 2024 @10:00AM to 1:00PM UTC (3 hours each day)

Option 4: March 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 2025 @6:00 to 9:00AM UTC (3 hours each day)

Option 5: July 3, 7 and 10, 2025 @9:00AM to 1:00PM UTC (4 hours each day)

Option 6: Sept 29, Oct 6, 12 and 20, 2025 @6:00 to 9:00AM (3 hours each day)

Option 7: March 2, 9, 26 and 23, 2026 @10:00AM to 1:00PM (3 hours each day)

Contact hours

12 Hours

Time commitment between sessions

1 Hour

Required Resource(s)

Recommended Reading:

  • Interviewing for Solutions, Insoo Kim Berg & Peter De Jong
  • Solution Focused Practice in Asia, Debbie Hogan, Dave Hogan, Jane Tuomola and Alan Yeo



                                            Option 5                            Option 6                              Option 7

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