Skip to main content

Quickfix Solutions

The tagline of Quickfix adhesive in the 1970s was “Joins everything except broken hearts”.  At about the same time, a therapeutic process known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) was gaining ground in psychology. It sought to help people arrive at quick solutions to psychological problems since everyone was too busy to go digging into the past and thus arrive at radical solutions. 

The advocates of SFBT argue that it is not necessary to know the cause of a problem to solve it and that there is no necessary relationship between the causes of problems and their solutions.  The problem is not what matters, but the solution.  Searching for the “right” solution is as futile as seeking to know and understand the problem.  What is important is to know your goals, what you want to accomplish, rather than diagnosis of the problem and its history.

The fundamental assumption of SFBT is that people are healthy and competent and have the ability to construct solutions that can enhance their lives.  Each one of us has the ability to resolve the challenges that life inevitably throws on our path.  But at times we lose our sense of direction or awareness of our competencies.  We become negative in our orientation as we focus on the problem more and more. 

What if we started focusing on solutions?  On the goals that we wish to achieve?  This is exactly what SFBT tries to accomplish.  It asks us to focus on what is working in our life.  Nine things out of ten may not be working.  Catch the tenth one that is working.  It is important to concentrate on small, realistic, achievable things.  Such things lead to big changes eventually.  Success tends to build upon itself.  Modest goals are the thresholds of great changes. 

SFBT suggests the following simple strategies while dealing with your problem(s).

1.     State your goals positively in your own words.
2.     Define your goals clearly.  Make sure they are action-oriented.  No abstract, sublime goals, please.
3.     The goals should be structured in the here and now.  Don’t make five-year plans.
4.     The goals should be attainable, concrete and specific.

Here are some strategies that may help in focusing on solutions rather than problems.

1.     Look at exceptions: You had expected the problem to occur but somehow it did not.  What was different?  Can that difference lead you to a solution?  At any rate, the exceptions remind you that problems are not all-powerful.  You’ve beaten them sometimes at least.
2.     Ask the Miracle Question: “If a miracle happened and the problem was solved overnight, how would you know it was solved, and what would be different?”  If you can visualise what would be different, you can also work towards it.  In fact, viewing the problem from the solution-angle is already halfway to the solution.
SFBT may not work in the case of broken hearts with deep wounds.  But it can work miracles with most problems of day-to-day life. 

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers


  1. Replies
    1. You don't sound very convinced, Aparna. Quickfix solutions have their disadvantages, no doubt. But the advantages outweigh them.

  2. I don't have time to sit and eat a breakfast slowly and peacefully and so i agree that What happened in the past or the route of the problem is not that vital, the solution is. Every thing has the other side or another dimension but focusing on the solution seems more logical and practical.

    1. Yes, Athena, quite a lot of problems can be solved that way. Of course, there are problems which need more radical solutions. My next story, The Devil, is going to be about one such problem.

  3. I am realistic..I believe in miracles..:)

    1. Wonderful! I love that comment, Preethi, and thanks a tonne for it.

  4. For me genesis of the problem too is important-it points to the remedial measures which should be taken.

    1. It depends on the problem as well as the individual who is facing the problem, Indu.

      Most of the times, going back to history only gives more money to the counsellor.

  5. I believe in miracles and I love them... two thumbs ups ^_^

    1. Miracles happen everyday, Namrota. Good you believe in them because what you believe is what will happen to you eventually.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Advani and Modi

Cartoon from Deepika This morning's Malayalam newspaper, Deepika, delighted readers with the above cartoon on the front page. Modi is portrayed as Bhima in quest of the Sougandhika flower.  He encounters Hanuman on the way and is unable to meet the challenge posed by Hanuman.  Finally Bhima will understand the real power of his interceptor and seek his blessings. Fabulous cartoon, I mused.  It depicts the present situation tersely.  And there's a deep irony too in it. Neither Modi nor Advani is worthy of any comparison with the epic characters.  Both have acted from selfish motives thus far and continue to do so. But the nature of the Kurukshetra has changed too today.  Today our heroes are no better than these characters.   

The Ugly Duckling

Source: Acting Company A. A. Milne’s one-act play, The Ugly Duckling , acquired a classical status because of the hearty humour used to present a profound theme. The King and the Queen are worried because their daughter Camilla is too ugly to get a suitor. In spite of all the devious strategies employed by the King and his Chancellor, the princess remained unmarried. Camilla was blessed with a unique beauty by her two godmothers but no one could see any beauty in her physical appearance. She has an exquisitely beautiful character. What use is character? The King asks. The play is an answer to that question. Character plays the most crucial role in our moral science books and traditional rhetoric, religious scriptures and homilies. When it comes to practical life, we look for other things such as wealth, social rank, physical looks, and so on. As the King says in this play, “If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beauti

Reading Comprehension for Senior Students

 Let me present the reading comprehension test I gave to my 12th graders recently.  1.        Read the passage and answer the questions that follow .                      1x10 = 10 1.     On 1 Oct, India launched 5G services. It was a low-key affair even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launching it. Natural, perhaps, since it came after 70-odd countries had deployed it in close to 2000 cities since 2019 when South Korea kicked off the new era of connectivity. 2.     Attempts to get 5G going in India have been botched by muddled policies. The biggest bottleneck was the high reserve prices for airwave sales. The 700-megahertz band, which is needed for 5G technology, was priced so high that it did not receive any bids in the March auction and even in the recent auction, only one company, market leader Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, has been able to cough up the asking price despite a scaling down of rates by the government. Telecom companies are bleeding after the cutthroat tar

To a friend

Vincent van Gogh - self-portrait of a man who suffered much This post is dedicated to a person who was very dear to me for quite some time. We were good friends. But certain situations affected that friendship adversely. Years later, he contacted me recently. There is a lot of frustration, anger, sadness and rebellion in his psyche, as I sense it. Dear Friend, Your present situation grieves me as much as it worries me. I knew you as a benevolent individual who went out of his way to help friends. I received much help from you for many years. You were an inspiration for me in more ways than you might have ever imagined. What happened to our friendship was inevitable to some extent because I was passing through a painful phase of personality deterioration and your efforts to assist turned out to be counterproductive. It was not your fault at all. You meant well, I know. I knew it at that time too but my psychological condition made it impossible for me to continue our friendship. I n