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


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.

Author Bio:

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.