What is Brief Therapy ?
Brief Therapy, often called ‘solution-focused brief therapy’ (SFBT), is a short-term talking therapy, which focuses on what the client wants to achieve (how life could be better) rather than on issues from the past that caused them to seek out the therapy in the first place.
Brief therapy was developed in the 1980s, in the US by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. The therapy is based on two premises. Firstly, just as nothing we do in life is perfect, neither is the way we ‘do’ a problem. We can use what we did on those occasions when the problem wasn’t as bad (our strengths), as a basis for a different future. Secondly, if you know ‘where you wan to get’ you stand a better chance of getting there, for example, focusing on what life would be like if the problem were solved, rather than the problem itself.
Problems are seen as temporary and changeable, the focus is on using your own untapped resources to change, even in small steps.
It can help if …
Brief therapy can help in a wide range of problems. Research studies have shown that about 65-83 per cent of people who have attended an average of four or five brief therapy sessions report their problems to be resolved or significantly reduced..
Sessions are based around three questions. The therapist will ask you what you want to achieve – what do you see as the absolute best outcome? Then he or she will ask you to envisage your daily life if your problem or issue were resolved. Finally, you will be asked what are you already doing or have you done in the past – your hidden resources – which might help you achieve this?
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