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People suffering from mild depression or those who are in
need of a little direction in life can benefit from an unconventional, rather
informal treatment called solution-focused therapy. Sometimes called brief
therapy, this therapeutic approach aims to reinforce positives instead of
focusing on the negative aspects of a patient’s life.
This form of therapy was developed by psychologists Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer in the early 1980s and has since become part of a
psychologists best practices. Typically, psychotherapy treatments last anywhere
from 8 to 12 sessions and beyond, but solution-focused therapy is put in place
for people who require less intensive mental rehabilitation.
Very little time
is spent analyzing a patient’s issue or providing a detailed diagnosis as this
form of therapy emphasizes the present and future rather than the past. This
type of therapy works under the assumption that a patient does not need to
engage in intensive psychotherapy to solve his or her problems. With a little
guidance, achieving the desired life is possible.
Patients tend to feel that they have more control in this
form of psychotherapy as the psychologist will ask questions such as, “What are
your goals for this therapy session?” and “How do you see yourself?” and so on.
The focus is on changing unhealthy behavioral patterns and negative thoughts to
bring about desired change.
A tongue and cheek article entitled A Hitchhiker’s Guide to
Solution-Focused Therapy discusses how companies are encouraging employees
to partake in solution-focused therapy, even if they do not suffer from mental
duress. Instead of counseling for people with mental disorders, this form of
therapy is almost akin to a self –improvement workshop, where people work to
improve themselves through self-discovery.
A typical session of solution-focused therapy will begin
with discussing the positives in a patient’s life relating to work, school, home
or family. Each week will build upon the
last in terms of personal goals achieved. These goals will have been discussed
in prior sessions where objectives to be met are typically put into place. Common
goals patients wish to achieve include improved self-esteem and better ability
to relate to others in a work or social setting.
Solution-focused therapy is useful to patients who desire
personal insight, adolescents with behavior problems and those who lack focus
in life. For more information about this viable form
of psychotherapy visit the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.
Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting
degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a
curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience
alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding,
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