Family Based Relationships (FBR)

Moving Towards Healthier Relationships

FBR is a solution-focused (SF) therapy model, which is a competency model.

 The model emphasises on the client’s strengths and previous successes rather than dwelling on problems and past failings. The approach requires you to work from the client’s understandings of their concerns/situations and what they themselves might want to change.

What is the Programme about?

The FBR programme is designed for the client to replace problematic behaviours with their solution behaviour.

The facilitator’s, task is to help the client discover the most effective solution behaviours that will not only replace previously problematic behaviours but also lead to the client’s ‘preferred future’.

The programme philosophy focuses on the future over the past, client’s strengths over deficits, resilience over weaknesses, and competencies over problems. It requires you to work from the client’s understandings of their concerns/situations and what progress they themselves might want to make.

One assumption of this approach is that solutions already exist for the client –our role is to use the ‘conversation of progress’ to help the client discover these solutions.

Who is it suitable for?

This programme is suitable for:

Length of programme: 10 sessions over 10 weeks

How can it be offered?

This programme can be offered:

See below on how to refer.

The 10 Principles

The Solution Focused Approach to behavioural change is underpinned by 10 principles that guide the therapeutic process. They are listed here in order of importance, but it is also worth noting that all the principles are inter-linked.

1. A positive collaboration

SF services and therapies are based in a relational collaboration where the facilitator and client are equal. The client is the expert in his/her individual experiences – the facilitator is the expert in the conversation of progress. The resulting relationship is one of safety and trust, which enhances engagement, autonomy and motivation to progress.

2. Language

You are in the position of initiating conversations of progress. Problem-talk can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies (re-offending), disempowers the client, and detracts attention and effort from developing solutions. In contrast, solution-talk can also lead to self-fulfilling prophecies (a move away from offending), empowers the client, and focuses attention and effort on developing solutions for progress. SF therapists make questions and collaborative working the primary communication and intervention tools, rather than advising the client what to do, or confronting or challenging the client about their behaviour.

3. Future focus

It is important to recognise and respect each client’s past, but therapeutic conversations should be anchored in the future. Therapeutic conversations anchored in the future will help the client discover their preferred future and motivate them to engage in their solution behaviour to achieve this preferred future. However, such conversations can ‘visit’ the past to explore how the client has coped and managed in the past in order for the client to design useful solution behaviours.

4. Selective attention

In order to make sense of the world and guide our behaviour, we have to selectively decide what we are going to and not going to attend to. What we selectively attend to becomes perceptually larger and we then physically orientate towards what we have attended to. You are in a position to encourage what the client selectively attends to (solution behaviours, not problem behaviours).

5. Problem variability

The problems that brought the client to the programme do not always manifest to the same degree. Paying attention to how it varies, rather than the problem itself, is key. So, there are always times when the problem behaviour is less severe, or less persistent, than others. Focusing detailed attention on when the problem and problem behaviours are less severe or less persistent helps to discover solutions.

6. Change is inevitable

“Nothing is constant in the whole world. Everything is in a state of flux, and comes into being as a transient appearance” (trans. 1955). Only a small change in the right direction is needed. Within the FBR programme, change is more usefully framed as ‘progress’ (see note above). As soon as the client starts noticing and valuing small amounts of progress, they begin to expect further progress.

7. Control and resources

The client must feel a sense of control over their future, the choices they make, and their ability to implement behavioural progress. Most clients already possess the resources they need in order to progress. Most people solve their problems without interventions but those that need interventions may require guidance and support to help realise their resources and how they can put them to use. Don’t build expectations about looking for excellence – a strength might simply be when something they did was ‘good enough’. Harnessing the client’s resources builds self-efficacy and self-esteem, which are essential for long-lasting progress.

8. Rolling with resistance

Within a solution-focused approach, resistance is viewed as a client’s natural protective mechanism or realistic desire to be cautious and go slowly. The client is not resistant to making an effort towards positive change, but they are resistant to being changed.

9. Accountability

On the FBR programme, the client is accountable for solutions, not problems. The client is accountable for identifying and working on their solution behaviour, and then for reporting their efforts every week in the programme session. Solution behaviour requires hard work, discipline and effort. Chances of success are much greater if the client believes they have some personal control over their future.

10. Well-formed solution behaviours

These are the solution behaviours developed by the client themselves that adhere to the Seven Useful Rules, replace previous problem behaviours, and contribute to their ‘preferred’ futures.


How to refer / who can refer?

We accept referrals from all agencies and families can also self-refer.

You can request a referral form via our contact page.