Brief therapy, also commonly referred to as Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), is essentially where the counselors help an individual focus on the present issues at hand so that they can achieve the future that they want. The main objective is to help them consider possible solutions to the current challenges in their lives. Interpretations are not made, and confrontations are not part of brief therapy.
Therapists practicing the SFBT technique do not attempt to understand the complexities of one’s past experiences, a traditional approach to treatment. In fact, as one famous SFBT therapist noted, “causes of problems may be extremely complex, but their solutions do not necessarily need to be.” Under this approach, the causes of one’s problems are not nearly as important as helping them learn how to achieve future goals.
How Does Brief Therapy Work?
The treatment team helps the individual identify concrete goals, create a focused plan, and then encourages the individual to follow through on their plan so that they can begin to accomplish their goals. Counselors also help the individual create realistic goals and identify their existing strengths and resources. The main tools applied are questions and compliments. The therapist tries to help individuals visualize a picture of what their lives will be like once the problem has been resolved, and coping is no longer necessary.
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