CAHSS Faculty Presentations, Proceedings, Lectures, and Symposia


Solution-Focused Sculpting

Event Name

2018 International Family Therapy Association World Congress

Event Location

Bangkok, Thailand


Department of Family Therapy

Document Type


Presentation Date



Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a postmodern approach to psychotherapy that is based on how therapist and client co-construct language in order to shift the conversation from a focus on problems to a focus on solutions. Interventions in the room tend to center around use of certain questions (i.e., miracle, exception or scaling questions). However, one aspect of SFBT that may be missing or underexplored is an experiential aspect. People tend to develop images of self, others, as well as the relationships between them. Sometimes these images take up the majority of the foreground in their perception of these relationships. The larger and more encompassing this image, the less room for movement and freedom in perceiving—and thus then doing—differently. Solution-focused sculpting (SFS) was developed to help shift problematic and limiting images into the background and bring into the foreground those background images that provide more possibilities for enhanced and meaningful relationships. The SFS highlights and helps concretize exception images. This enables family members to begin to shift the problem-dominated images of their familial relationships with solution-based images; their exception sculpts. This presentation will describe a therapeutic technique the presenter developed called Solution-Focused Sculpting (SFS). The tenets of SFBT will be presented as well as the purpose and process of family sculpting, as utilized in Experiential Family Therapy—particularly the work of Virginia Satir. The presenter will discuss, through the use of actual usage with individuals, couples, and families, how therapists can utilize solution-focused sculpting.