Insoo Kim Berg

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Insoo Kim Berg
Born(1934-07-25)July 25, 1934
DiedJanuary 10, 2007(2007-01-10) (aged 72)
Milwaukee, United States
Alma materEwha Womans University
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Family Institute of Chicago
Menninger Foundation
Mental Research Institute
Spouse(s)Charles H. Berg
Steve de Shazer

Insoo Kim Berg (25 July 1934 – 10 January 2007) was a Korean-born American psychotherapist who was a pioneer of solution focused brief therapy.


Berg was born and raised in Seoul, Korea.[1] She was a pharmacy major at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.[1][2] In 1957, she travelled to the United States after her marriage to Charles Berg. She began her studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1960, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work.[3][1] She subsequently began her social work practice in Milwaukee. Berg and her first husband, Charles, divorced in 1972. They have a daughter, Sarah K. Berg.[3]

Berg completed post-graduate studies at the Family Institute of Chicago, the Menninger Foundation in Kansas, and the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, California.[1] At the MRI she also met her future husband, Steve de Shazer.[citation needed] She and Steve married in June of 1977.

Berg died on January 10, 2007 in Milwaukee, at the age of 72.[1][4]

Solution-focused brief therapy[edit]

In 1978, Berg and de Shazer co-founded the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in Milwaukee.[3] Berg was the executive director and a clinician at the BFTC.[4][3] Berg and de Shazer are recognized as the primary developers of solution-focused brief therapy, which emerged from research they conducted at the BFTC in the 1980s, building upon studies conducted at the Mental Research Institute.[5][6]

Berg led training workshops on solution-focused therapy in countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, Denmark, and Germany.[3] She authored a number of books on solution-focused approaches to therapy.[3]


  • Berg, Insoo Kim, and Scott Miller. Working with the Problem Drinker: A Solution-focused Approach. New York: Norton, 1992. ISBN 978-0393701340
  • Berg, Insoo Kim, Family-based Services: A Solution-focused Approach. New York: Norton, 1994. ISBN 978-0393701623
  • Berg, Insoo Kim & Susan Kelly. Building Solutions in Child Protective Services. New York: Norton, 2000. ISBN 978-0393703108
  • Berg, Insoo Kim & Yvonne M. Dolan. Tales of Solutions: A Collection of Hope-inspiring Stories. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN 9780393703207
  • Berg, Insoo Kim & Peter Szabó. Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions. 2005. ISBN 9780393704723
  • De Jong, Peter & Insoo Kim Berg. Interviewing for Solutions(4th ed.) Pacific Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, 2012. ISBN 978-1111722203

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Insoo Kim Berg Obituary". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  2. ^ Yalom, Victor (October 2003). "Interview with Insoo Kim Berg".
  3. ^ a b c d e f West, John D.; Bubenzer, Donald L.; Smith, Jeffrey M.; Hamm, Terri L. (1997). "Insoo Kim Berg and Solution-Focused Therapy". The Family Journal. 5 (4): 346–354. doi:10.1177/1066480797054014. ISSN 1066-4807. S2CID 143032470.
  4. ^ a b Dolan, Yvonne (2007). "Tribute to Insoo Kim Berg". Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 33 (2): 129–131. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00011.x. ISSN 0194-472X.
  5. ^ Shazer, Steve; Berg, Insoo Kim; Lipchik, Eve; Nunnally, Elam; Molnar, Alex; Gingerich, Wallace; Weiner-Davis, Michele (1986). "Brief Therapy: Focused Solution Development". Family Process. 25 (2): 207–221. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.1986.00207.x. ISSN 0014-7370. PMID 3732502.
  6. ^ McKergow, M. (2016). "SFBT 2.0: The next generation of Solution Focused Brief Therapy has already arrived". Journal of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. 2 (2): 1–17.

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