Unlocking Insoo Kim Berg's Solution-Focused Strategies

Insoo Kim Berg was a prominent therapist known for her contributions to the field of psychotherapy, particularly the development of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).

The fundamental principle of SFBT is that people already have the necessary skills and competencies to solve their problems; the therapist's role is to guide them in recognizing and utilizing these resources.

Berg's language patterns align with this principle, tending towards positivity, future-focus, and solution-orientation. Her approach was characterized by a genuine curiosity about the client's strengths and resources and a collaborative stance. 

Below are ten of Berg's language patterns with hypothetical therapeutic applications:

Future-Focused Questions: 

Berg's language often encouraged clients to envision their future without the current problem.

• For anxiety: "What will be different in your life when you are no longer feeling this anxious?"

• In depression: "How would your day look like when it's a bit brighter?"

• For relationship issues: "What would change in your relationship if the current issue were resolved?"

Exception Seeking Questions: 

She often asked about times when the problem wasn't present or was less intense.

• For anger issues: "Can you recall a time when you handled your anger more effectively?"

• In stress management: "Were there instances when you managed to stay calm amidst stressful situations?"

• For insomnia: "Can you remember a time when you had a good night's sleep? What was different then?"


Berg's language often highlighted and appreciated the client's strengths and efforts.

• For self-esteem: "You've shown a lot of strength in dealing with these challenges."

• In resilience: "Despite the setbacks, you've remained committed to your goals. That's commendable."

• For motivation: "It takes courage to seek help and you've taken that step."

Scaling Questions: 

She used this technique to measure the client's perception of their progress, confidence, or motivation.

• For progress tracking: "On a scale from 1-10, where would you rate your current state compared to when we first started?"

• In goal setting: "How confident are you on a scale of 1-10 that you can achieve this goal?"

• For motivation: "On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you to make this change?"

Resource-Oriented Questions: 

Berg's language often focused on identifying resources and strengths.

• For empowerment: "What personal strengths have helped you cope so far?"

• In resilience: "What resources have helped you get through tough times in the past?"

• For self-efficacy: "What abilities do you possess that will help you overcome this challenge?"

The Miracle Question: 

This hypothetical question encouraged clients to imagine their life if a miracle happened overnight and their problem was solved.

• For anxiety: "If a miracle happened and your anxiety disappeared overnight, how would your tomorrow look like?"

• In depression: "Suppose a miracle occurred while you slept and you woke up free from depression. How would you notice?"

• For relationship conflict: "Imagine a miracle happens, and your relationship issues are solved. What's the first thing you would notice?"

Solution-Oriented Language: 

Berg consistently used language that directed clients towards solutions.

• For goal setting: "What's one small step you can take towards your goal this week?"

• In problem-solving: "What would be the first sign that things are moving in the right direction?"

• For change: "What's one thing you can do differently that might make a positive impact?"

Feedback Giving: 

Berg often provided feedback to ensure mutual understanding and progress.

• For therapy engagement: "It sounds like you're saying…"

• In session wrap-up: "Today, we discussed…"

• For progress assessment: "From our conversation, it appears…"

Instilling Hope: 

Berg's language was often aimed at encouraging optimism.

• For resilience: "You've overcome challenges in the past. I believe you can do it again."

• In grief: "It's hard right now, but many have found that with time, the pain eases."

• For motivation: "With your strengths and resources, I'm confident you'll make progress."

Collaborative Language: 

Berg adopted a collaborative stance in therapy.

• For therapeutic alliance: "Let's explore this together."

• In goal setting: "What do you think should be our focus for the next session?"

• For problem-solving: "How can we work together to address this challenge?"

These language patterns can serve as examples of how Insoo Kim Berg communicated in a solution-focused, resource-oriented manner to help clients create positive change in their lives.

Hypnosis Induction - Inspired by the language patterns of Insoo Kim Berg

(Collaborative Language)

Let's begin this journey together, creating a space that invites relaxation and peace. Know that this is a shared experience, and you have control over the process.

(Instilling Hope)

Remember, you've accomplished many things in your life, and you can use that same inner strength now to guide you into a state of deep relaxation. You've done this before, in moments of calm and tranquility.

(Resource-Oriented Questions)

Think about a time when you felt completely relaxed, safe, and comfortable. What strengths did you draw upon then? Use those same strengths now to guide you deeper into this state of relaxation.


You're doing an excellent job allowing yourself to be in this moment, accepting this time for relaxation and peace. It's a testament to your openness and courage.

(Exception Seeking Questions)

Now, think about a moment when you felt most at peace, most relaxed. Can you recall a specific time? Maybe it was as you drifted off to sleep or when you were immersed in a favorite hobby. What was that like? Hold on to that memory.

(Future-Focused Questions)

Visualize yourself in the future, after this session, carrying this deep relaxation into the rest of your day. What will change in your routine when you carry this calm with you?

(Scaling Questions)

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most relaxed you've ever been, where would you place yourself right now? With each passing moment, allow that number to inch closer to 10, taking you deeper into relaxation.

(The Miracle Question)

Now, imagine that while you are in this deeply relaxed state, a miracle happens, and all stress and tension disappear from your body and mind. What would that feel like? Allow yourself to embrace that feeling.

(Solution-Oriented Language)

Think of one thing you can do right now to take yourself even deeper into relaxation. Maybe it's taking a deep breath, releasing any remaining tension. Or perhaps it's focusing on a point of comfort in your body, allowing that comfort to spread.

(Feedback Giving)

It seems like you're becoming more and more relaxed, sinking deeper into a state of tranquility. You're doing this perfectly, releasing tension with each breath, becoming more at ease.

(Future-Focused Questions)

As we continue, picture yourself waking up tomorrow morning, carrying this state of deep relaxation with you. How will this make you feel? How will it change the way you approach your day?


You're doing an incredible job. Your ability to relax and be in the moment is a strength that will serve you well beyond this session.

(Exception Seeking Questions)

Now, let's remember a time when you fell asleep easily. What was different then? Perhaps it was a sense of calm or a state of exhaustion. As we're here now, can you allow yourself to feel that way again?

(Scaling Questions)

Once again, on our relaxation scale, where would you place yourself now? Allow that number to increase even more, leading you into deeper and deeper relaxation.

(Collaborative Language)

As we draw this journey to a close, let's reflect on how far you've come. You've done an amazing job today.

(Instilling Hope)

Remember, this deep state of relaxation is something you can return to any time you wish. It's a testament to your strength and resilience.

It's important to note, Insoo Kim Berg's therapeutic approach does not traditionally involve hypnotherapy. This response is a hypothetical application of her  language patterns in a hypnotherapy context.