Directly confronting and processing past trauma can be distressing for clients and may contribute to the high dropout rates among leading trauma treatments. Solution-focused therapy (SFT) primarily focuses on the present and future and has been proposed as a strengths-based alternative for treating trauma survivors. This review systematically evaluated the existing outcome literature for the effectiveness of SFT for trauma survivors. Multiple databases were searched using search terms to identify results for solution-focused therapy as a treatment for trauma survivors. Eligible studies included experimental, quasi-experimental, or pre-post designs that reported outcome measures following SFT-based treatment. A total of five studies met inclusion criteria and were evaluated and summarized. Four out of the five studies included data on within-subjects changes in the SFT treatment group, reporting statistically significant improvements on trauma symptoms, recovery, self-esteem, and parenting, with moderate to large effect sizes. Three studies compared SFT with treatment-as- usual (TAU) or no treatment and found mixed results. Compared to control groups, SFT showed statistically significant improvements with large effect sizes on post-traumatic growth and sleep issues, but effect sizes for trauma symptoms were small and not statistically significant or varied greatly between different reporters. The existing literature provides initial evidence of overall improvement for trauma survivors who received SFT, but the effectiveness of SFT at addressing trauma symptoms requires further investigation. More high quality, controlled studies are needed to evaluate SFT as a trauma treatment.
Eads, Ray and Lee, Mo Yee
"Solution Focused Therapy for Trauma Survivors: A Review of the Outcome Literature,"
Journal of Solution Focused Practices: Vol. 3:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/journalsfp/vol3/iss1/9