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Keywords:

  • mental health nursing;
  • nurse-patient relationship;
  • solution focused brief therapy;
  • solution focused nursing;
  • solution focused therapy

ABSTRACT

Solution focused therapy (SFT) is a relatively new and increasingly popular model of brief intervention in mental health care. The central assertion of SFT is that the individual's problem or difficulty (and its cause) need not determine the direction in which the discussion proceeds. Instead the role of the SFT practitioner is to identify what the individual wants to be different and then to explore and elaborate on that difference. This paper outlines the principles of SFT and highlights the compatibility of this approach with the core values of nursing practice. Specific strategies and techniques used in SFT are detailed with clinical examples to illustrate the application of SFT to mental health nursing practice. A summary of current research outcomes and future prospects for SFT in clinical practice and education is also presented.