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The stress field method is a technique based on the lower-bound theorem of plasticity that can be used for dimensioning, detailing and checking of structural concrete elements. Its use has been traditionally associated with the assumption of simplified (rigidplastic) stress-strain relationships for the materials. This assumption greatly helps in solving such models, but requires a certain level of experience to decide the most suitable load-carrying mechanism for a given case. This paper presents the possibilities of using a nonlinear finite element analysis program implementing the main hypotheses of the stress field method to develop suitable stress fields. These stress fields can be used to investigate the strength and behaviour of structural concrete members. Detailed applications are presented.