Center for Solution-Focused Training
Therapist training, supervision, organizational consultation, and therapy

Joel K. Simon, LCSW, ACSW, BCD

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Solution-Focused Therapist Training


2019 Solution-Focused Clinical Training Dates:

2-day Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Basic Clinical Training:

September 23 & 24. (2 slots left)

[click for more information or to register]

The Focus of Soluton Focus Therapist Training is on the Practical:

    * How to use pre-change questions
    * How to use future questions
    * How to use the miracle question.
    * How to use exception qustions.
    * How to make numbers work  using
    * How to use coping questions.
    * How to develop compliments.
    * How to develop  between session
    * How to apply SF to your clients.
    * How to think like a solution-builder

Explaining the Logo

On top of the page, you will see the Center for Solution- Focused Training logo There are some models of therapy that focus on emotions as the agent of change.  Others focus on actions and still others on thoughts.  I view all three as part of a system of change. If one changes, then the others will change as well.  It is this idea that expands therapy to include all three: actions, feelings and thoughts. Change begins when any one of these three changes to make a difference. This is where solution-building happens.

A Letter

"I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and ever since that day, life was never the same. No one really cared about who I was until the diagnosis. The next thing I know, all the kids who bullied me in school are nicer to me, and the family has been on my nerves ever since."

[click to read more]

What is Solution-Focused Therapy?

The basic ideas for solution-focus brief therapy began over 30 years ago.  Steve de Shazer became interested in what people do that help them find solutions to the problems that brought them into his office.  This was a very different way of thinking about therapy (it still is).   De Shazer learned to ask useful questions and these questions helped the client think in more positive and useful ways about their predicaments...

[click to read more]

How to find a Solution-Focused Therapist

This video is about differentiating between therapists who claim they are solution focused and those that truly are. It requires Adobe Flash which can be downloaded here: Flash




Introducing Joel

  • A solution-focused therapist, trainer, supervisor, and organizational consultant with 40 years of  post-graduate experience amd 25 years as a solution-focused clinician and trainer.
  • A frequent presenter of solution-focused practice at conferences.
  • Co-author of articles on solution-focus published in professional journals including two with Insoo Kim Berg, a co-developer of the solution-focused approach. (see resume).
  • A founding member of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association (
  • Completed Advanced Methods Training In Solution-focused Brief Therapy, and Advanced Supervision Training in Solution-focused Therapy with the co-developers, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer, at the Brief Family Therapy Center, the home of Solution-Focus in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  
  • Completed and certified in advanced training in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy with The New York Milton H. Ericksonian Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD), and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW).  


Click to find out more.

For further information about training, click "Training" above.  For further information about me, see "About Joel" above. 

Contact Joel

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 Solution Focus Network Meetings

A group of  people interested in and practicing solution focus has been meeting monthly in Albany, NY. Meetings are informal and have included discussions, case consultations, and video/discussion. We have organized solution-focused trainings and presentations all with CEU's for social workers in conjunction with the State University of New York at Albany's School of Social Welfare.

Upcoming 2019 HVSFN events:

1/2 Day "Solution Focus Brief Therapy in Action"

September 21.

The topic for September's meeting is Part I: The Philosophy of Wittgenstein and the Relationship to Solution-Focused Practice, and Part II: Staying Solution-Focused When Maybe No One Else Is. Bring your own examples and let's try out some solution-focused strategies together. The topics for the other meetings will be decided by the participants.

If you want more information about the meetings and the upcoming trainings/presentations, go to the Hudson Valley Solution Focus Network page.

Books Authored by Joel :

Solution-Focused Brief Practice with Long-Term Clients in Mental Health Services.

Solution-Focused Practice in End-of-Life and Grief Counseling

Solution-Focused Case Management

[Click on any book for further information or to order]

Joel in Japan

In July, 2016, I spent several days as a trainer in Japan. Click here for a slideshow (pictures by Yuichi Takenouchi).


Announcing the Next SFBTA Conference

The 2019 Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association Conference will take place November 6 - 9 in Montreal. Conference information, registration, hotel information, and the call for workshop proposals can be found at the association's website.


In 1999, I pubished an article co-authored with Insoo Kim Berg entitled Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with Long-Term Problems.  The article outlined the basics of solution-focused brief practice and its specific application to working with those who have been diagnosed with serious mental illness. Since the article is no longer available for purchase, I have made it available for download here.  

[click to download]


 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists

AAMFT held their 2014 annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They had designated Friday of the conference as a tribute day to both Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. I had been invited to present at the conference. In part, the invitation stated: "Your work and excellent reputation will provide an immense benefit to the program."


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