Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association

fostering the growth of solution focused practices

About the Association

Some of the Original SFBTA Founders

A Brief History of SFBTA

In the fall of 2001, Steve de Shazer and Terry Trepper sent an invitation to a number of people in the North American solution focused community to gather together at Purdue University – Calumet to share experiences and tools used in teaching SFBT. Steve posed three questions:

The group agreed on a series of weekend seminars to be held in Hammond, Indiana. We started out sharing tools for teaching and then a number of other things developed. With the able leadership of Thorana Nelson, we began assembling the ideas together for a book. Education and Training in Solution Focused Brief Therapy was published in 2005.

In the fall of 2002, Steve, Insoo and these 27 colleagues founded the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association. It was, in part, an attempt to catch up with our European colleagues who had been affiliated through the European Brief Therapy Association and had held rich annual conferences for several years. We thought we owed it to ourselves and to the North American community to have at least one similar gathering a year where those who work hard to practice briefly, in the solution focused way, could gather and learn together. For the first few years, holding an annual conference became our foremost purpose. Beginning in 2003, the conference has been held in Loma Linda, California, Park City, Utah, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Denver, Colorado and Toronto, Ontario.

As it has turned out, there was to be another purpose for the SFBTA. With the passing of Insoo early in 2007, a process of bringing BFTC to a close was necessarily undertaken. The executives of BFTC, Insoo’s sister, CJ Kim, and daughter, Sarah Berg, decided that the association was the best choice for providing stewardship to Insoo and Steve’s legacy.

The SFBTA gratefully and humbly accepts this gift and the confidence invested in us. The exact shape of our inheritance will evolve over the next months and years. We will continue to pursue our original mission of fostering growth of solution-focused practices. Our conferences, remaining a central focus, are dedicated to the fundamental principles of equality, collaboration and interaction among participants. In addition, having been given the rights to the BFTC teaching video and audio tapes, we will insure that they remain available in contemporary format to those who wish to learn the model. The association is committed to supporting those who wish to cultivate new applications and take their mastery of SFBT to the highest level. To that end, in the spirit of the original founders meetings, we will continue to develop learning opportunities of quality.

Community Task Force Meets

In Santa Fe last November, the SFBTA Board of Directors hosted a community meeting to solicit ideas on what changes the SFBTA community favored to make our Association the best it could be. The Board was impressed with the quality of the comments and ideas expressed as well as the commitment and enthusiasm of the participants at the community meeting. As a Board we are committed to following through with the evolving process to create a future Association which more clearly meets the needs and vision of its members. It is in that spirit which the Board established an ad hoc task force to prioritize the ideas generated and make suggestions for potential changes in operations, services, and products. Since late April, the SFBTA Community Task Force has met three times. The Task Force is working on specific proposals to present to the Board of Directors for recommended changes in the Association to best meet the desires and needs of the SFBTA community of practitioners, researchers, educators and trainers. We expect to present the most recent iterations of these ideas at the November 2015 Annual Conference in Wilmington, NC. Members of the Communty Task Force include: Pam King, Chris Richmond, Marc Coulter, Karrie Slavin, Sara Smock Jordon, Neal Sheeley and Cami Boyer.