Solution-Focused Therapist Littleton, CO
Teri Pichot, LCSW, MAC, LAC
As a therapist in Littleton, and life coach, I help clients find solutions to their problems by focusing on where they want to be rather than where they have been -- hence the name Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. Each of us has within the ability to formulate and execute our own solutions resulting in observable, measurable results, even after only one therapy session. Sometimes it takes an expert to ask a client just the right questions to uncover these hidden answers and solutions in order to get back on track. Drawing from the simple idea, and what I call a "universal truth," that what we as human beings focus on gets bigger, our solution-focused therapy sessions teach clients a new way to think and how to imagine themselves in the future the way they want to be. We then offer concrete skills to help them make that dream a reality, and it doesn't take years of therapy.
If you're looking for a therapist in Littleton, CO, my Littleton office is conveniently situated just a few blocks north of C470 between Santa Fe and Broadway - providing easy access from all Littleton and surrounding areas.
What is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & how does it Work?
Listen to this interview by Charlie Johnson with Teri about Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)?answer
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy was created in the 1980s by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. Steve believed that while therapy was effective overall, there were a lot of things that therapists did in traditional therapy that didn’t work. He wanted to discover what truly caused change for clients. As a result, he began to study what worked when clients were able to find answers to their problems. With clients’ permission, he and his colleagues observed Insoo as she worked with clients. Working together, Insoo and Steve learned what kind of questions to ask the clients to help them to think in new ways and to look at their lives differently. This different way of thinking assisted clients in looking beyond their problems to discover unique solutions that were the perfect fit for them. He discovered that each client was unique and that clients with similar problems didn’t necessarily find the same answers to be helpful. By being curious about who the clients are and what they want, solutions became readily apparent. While traditional therapy explores problems, Steve discovered that this exploring of problems did not lead to change. It was by exploring how the clients wanted their lives to be different and by asking questions that helped to shift their thinking, that solutions were found. Even clients who found it useful to understand the cause of their problems left with the desired insight, for by understanding how life will be when the problem is resolved, clients automatically also gain insight into the problem.
Don’t I need to explore the problem?answer
It is a simple fact of life, a universal truth if you will, that what one focuses on becomes bigger. Imagine driving through a snow storm (or a heavy rain storm for those of you in warmer climates). Here in Colorado we have large, heavy, wet snow flakes during spring storms. While beautiful, the flakes can be mesmerizing when one focuses on them. As a passenger of a car, I have at times stared at the flakes as they come fast and heavy toward the car’s windshield. It is during these times I start to wonder how the driver can see anything at all and how the driver is able to successfully navigate through the inclement weather. The snowflakes become all encompassing. However, when I instead change my focus to the markings on the road a little ahead of the vehicle or on the tail lights of the automobile in front of us, suddenly the snowflakes seem to take their place in perspective, and driving seems less treacherous. So, am I in denial that it is snowing when I chose to ignore the flakes and focus on the road? I don’t think so. I’m simply using a basic principle of focusing on what I want to become more prominent. Similarly, in solution-focused therapy, we believe that asking clients to focus on problems is just as counterproductive as asking someone to focus on snowflakes during a storm. While the problems may be interesting, focusing on them will not assist the person in getting to the destination and in fact may result in a feeling of being overwhelmed and doubtful that travel is wise.
Will it work for my problems?answer
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy has been proven effective with a wide variety of problems. Originally, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer worked in intercity Milwaukee with individuals, couples, and families who were struggling with addiction, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, parenting and family problems, and many other issues. Since then, SFBT has been successfully used with clients involved with the child welfare system, the prisons, the school system, and those suffering with countless severe mental health symptoms. Because the approach focuses on what each client needs, the presenting problem can be quite varied.
How long does it take?answer
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is very different from time-limited therapy/short-term therapy. In time-limited therapy (what many insurance companies require), there is a set number of sessions initially allowed. For example many insurance companies initially allow 20 sessions, and any work that the client needs to accomplish must be finished within that time frame. In Solution-Focused Brief Therapy each session is used to its fullest, and we use as many sessions as needed to help clients reach their goals – not one less or one more. Because each session is used with such purpose, treatment is frequently completed in far less time than the traditional time-limited/short-term therapy.
How often do we meet?answer
The answer to this question depends on many things. Many Littleton clients initially like to meet once a week for the first couple of sessions. Once clients begin to see the immediate changes that Solution-Focused Brief Therapy brings, they oftentimes decide they don’t need to meet as frequently. Some clients come every other week while others meet monthly. The average number of sessions for most clients is 4-6, and the average time frame for completing these sessions is about three months.
How much does it cost?answer
I purposefully charge significantly less than other therapists in Littleton who have the same level of experience and expertise in order to make it more affordable. I charge only $150 per session regardless if you want a family member to participate with you. Each session is approximately 50 minutes, and the initial session can be slightly longer.
Do you take insurance?answer
I do not accept most insurance at this time, but I will provide you with a statement that contains everything you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if you would like to do so. Insurance companies most often require that you have a mental health diagnosis in order to access your benefits. I find that many people do not like to be labeled or to have such a diagnosis on file with their insurance company. In addition, insurance companies frequently take decision making away from the therapy process and away from where it should be – with the client and therapist. Lastly, because Solution-Focused Brief Therapy typically only takes 4-6 sessions, it frequently costs less than paying co-pays for 20 sessions of problem-focused therapy. This, combined with my lower fee, makes treatment quite affordable.
Do you have a sliding fee scale?answer
I am willing to negotiate a slightly lower session fee if the situation warrants it.
Is it possible to meet over the telephone or Internet?answer
Yes. I do provide phone sessions for clients who live too far away to come into the Littleton office. (However, I would need to check to ensure that your state does not require a therapist to hold a license in your state in order to provide you services, for my license is only valid in Colorado.) I do not offer any Internet services at this time since there is mixed opinion about if Internet services (such as Skype) have adequate security and are truly compliant with HIPAA. At this point, it does not appear that such services have been proven to meet standard of care. Your right to privacy and the protection of your personal information is of utmost importance. We do our best to protect electronic information such as e-mails and texts, however these are not secure, and I do not recommend that you put any sensitive information in electronic form (with me or with anyone else).
What is Solution-Focused Life Coaching?answer
Solution-focused life coaching is a future-focused way to address general life or business goals, develop specific life skills, or resolve other normal life or business problems. This is the ideal service if you are struggling with goal setting, time management, decision making, or other issues that are not traditionally seen as needing formal therapy. This is a service I provide.
How do I get started?answer