2nd Edition

Becoming a Solution Detective A Strengths-Based Guide to Brief Therapy

    184 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    If you are interested in making your practice solution-focused quickly and effectively, look no further than this text. The authors, co-founders of the Brief Therapy Group, demystify the process of psychotherapy, making the concept of solution-based therapy accessible and relevant for newcomers to the field and for professionals seeking to apply SFBT principles in their own practices. The book’s hands-on approach allows practitioners to adopt the authors' simple, self-teaching style and apply it to their work with clients. Practical information is included on:

    • the differences between the solution-based approach and traditional therapy
    • establishing a successful therapeutic alliance with clients
    • determining detailed, meaningful goals for the client
    • mapping the client’s journey to a solution
    • possible “dead ends” in applying this type of therapy
    • and much more!

    As an academic textbook, it is ideal for individual study in a variety of courses, including social work, counseling, nursing, psychology, education, and any other helping professions.

    Furman, Foreword. Part I: Becoming a solution detective. Becoming a solution detective. Investigating solutions: A step-by-step model. Part II: Investigating solutions: Four stages. Stage 1: Where are you at? Stage 2: Where do you want to go? Stage 3: How far have you come? Stage 4: What is the next step? Part III: Managing setbacks and challenges. Managing setbacks and challenges–An overview. Attending to client motivation. Learning from your clients. Staying a customer as a therapist.


    John Sharry, DPsych, is a family and child psychotherapist and works part-time as Principal Social Woker for the Mater Hospital and as a Director of the Parents Plus Charity. He co-founded the Brief Therapy Group in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998 with Brendan Madden and Melissa Darmody.

    Brendan Madden, MA, is a psychologist with over 20 years experience in the behavioral healthcare and employee assistance sectors. He is Chief Executive of Relationships Ireland, a not-for-profit counseling agency.

    Melissa Darmody, DPsych, is a counseling psychologist whose current role is Clinical Director of Towards Healing, the Catholic Church service for adult survivors of abuse in Ireland. She also has a successful clinical practice in supervision and training.

    “The authors have written a charming and very readable overview and guide to a collaborative, strengths-based approach to change. Highly recommended.”Bill O'Hanlon, Author, In Search of Solutions, Do One Thing Different, and A Guide to Possibility Land

    “Wow! This is one of the most engaging and superb books on Solution-Focused Brief Therapy on the market. It has great case examples and exercises, and integrates the latest research from psychotherapy. Therapists are sure to find a plethora of practical therapeutic tools and strategies that can be put to immediate use.”Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, Author, Collaborative Brief Therapy with Children and The Self-Harming Treatment Manual

    “It is not easy to write a good hands-on book about solution-focused therapy, which is precisely what the authors have managed to do. You will enjoy reading this book very much. It gives you enough ideas about the approach that you can actually start testing them in your work with clients right away.”Ben Furman, Author, Solution Talk, It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, Pickpockets on a Nudist Camp: The Systemic Revolution in Psychotherapy, and Solutions Stories

    Becoming a Solution Detective is a brilliant book. First of all, it is well written and so affords the pleasure any well-written book gives an interested reader. Second, it is tightly written, crisp, and to the point. Third, it addresses the serious subject of therapy with a humor and lightness that exactly reflects its regard for the immense strength and resilience that we human beings can call upon in times of distress and adversity. Anyone can pick up this book and find out what solution-focused brief therapy is all about–and enjoy themselves in the process. ‘Solution detectives’ who pick up this book will also find a generosity of spirit, for within the book are all the materials needed to teach solution-focused brief therapy. I cannot think of a better place to start out from if you want to become a solution-focused brief therapist, or to visit if you have already made the journey.”Chris Iveson, Co-Founder, Brief Therapy Practice, London, United Kingdom

    “Imagine you and your clients as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson carefully, thoughtfully, and creatively sleuthing together toward strengths and client solutions. This is what these authors delightfully dramatize as a metaphor of solution-focused work. In six simple chapters, Sharry, Madden, and Darmody capture and present the heart of the approach, and through suggested exercises provide opportunities to experience this approach firsthand. Novices will love this book for its simplicity and straightforwardness. Experienced people will relish the humor and the helpful teaching guides.”John Walter, MSW, Co-Author, Recreating Brief Therapy: Preferences and Possibilities

    Becoming a Solution Detective is an excellent introduction to solution-focused therapy, and much more. It takes readers, step by step, through the very processes a strengths-based therapist might offer a client. Using exercises and brief case studies as well as a bit of theory and some clever cartoons, readers get the invaluable learning experience of looking at themselves through ‘solution lenses.’ Very well done!”Michael F. Hoyt, PhD, Author, Some Stories Are Better Than Others, Brief Therapy and Managed Care, Interviews with Brief Therapy Experts, and The Present is a Gift

    “Illustrated with interesting case examples, witty cartoons, and delightful literary quotes, this imaginative view of solution-focused brief therapy will appeal to beginners as well as experienced clinicians. Read and enjoy!”Yvonne Dolan, MA, Psychotherapist; Author; Trainer, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy