Insoo Kim Berg

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Insoo Kim Berg
Insoo Kim(김인수)

(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.[4] She and Steve married in June 1977.

Berg died on January 10, 2007, in Milwaukee, at the age of 72.[1][5]

Solution-focused heritage[edit]

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.[5][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.[6][7]

Berg led training workshops on solution-focused therapy in countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Israel, Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Germany.[3] She authored a number of books on solution-focused approaches to therapy.[3] Her books include Interviewing for Solutions (with Peter De Jong), Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions, Family Based Services:A Solution Based Approach, Children's Solution Work (with Therese Steiner), Working with the Problem Drinker (with Scott D. Miller), Tales of Solution (with Yvonne Dolan), Building Solutions in Child Protective Services (with Susan Kelly), Solutions Step by Step:A Substance Abuse Treatment Manual (with Norman H. Ruess), and Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions (with Peter Szabo).

Solution-Focused Applied Psychology (SoFAP)[edit]

Alongside the popular development of the practical application of solution-focused therapy, its theoretic foundation has been the topic of research in an academic context. The academic discipline of Solution-Focused Applied Psychology (SoFAP)[citation needed] uses the methodology offered by design science to investigate the epistemology that underlies the application of the solution-focused approach. In intuitive form, this approach was originally recognized in the practice of Dr. Milton H. Erickson and subsequently concretized by Berg and de Shazer, particularly in the latter's book Patterns of Brief Family Therapy: An Ecosystemic Approach.[8]


  • 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. ^ de Shazer, S., Dolan, Y. 2007. More Than Miracles: The State of the Art of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. Hawthorn Press, Binghamton, N.Y. p.ix
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ de Shazer, Steve (1982). Patterns of Brief Family Therapy: An Ecosystemic Approach. New York: The Guilford Press. ISBN 0-89862-038-4.

External links[edit]