Term Paper: Therapy, Also Called "Solution-Focused

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[. . .] They categorized these reports as well done, given the inherent limitations of the field.

In one study, the researcher's goal was to get people who were not working back to work. Two groups (the controls) received the standard group therapy. Two other matched groups received solution-focused, brief therapy (SFBT). The clients who received SFBT as well as group therapy were dramatically more successful: 30 days after the study began, 92% of those who received SFBT had returned to work, while only 47% of those in the control group were employed again.

Two other studies got positive results, although not as dramatic as the back-to-work one. It seems likely that this is because the participants in the other two studies had significantly more difficulty functioning well in society on any level.

In the first study, researchers in Sweden used SFBT to attempt to reduce recidivism among prisoners about to be released. The participants had histories of drug abuse, previous recidivism, and discipline problems while in prison. Six months after release, the control group, who did not participate in SFBT, had a recidivism rate of 86%, while those who participated in SFBT had a rate of 60%. Gingerich and Eisengart did not say if there was any therapy after the prisoners were released.

The next study used (SFBT) with antisocial adolescent offenders serving time in a juvenile facility. The participants had a diagnosis of psychosis along with refusal to take medication. 65% had been convicted of a violent crime, and 85% had a history of violent behavior. In the study, SFBT was added to other standard therapies available at the facility. Normed questionnaires showed that the group receiving SFBT made more progress in the ability to solve problems than the control group that did not receive SFBT. The SFBT group was also more optimistic, reduced antisocial tendencies and reduced substance abuse. After release, only 20% of the SFBT group re-offended compared to 42% of the control group. (Gingerich and Eisengart, 2000)

This study suggests that brief therapy may have a place even with severely involved clients. It is possible that the judgment of success for such clients should be made in relation to their previous difficulties rather than an idealized norm they might not be able to meet.


Both Gestalt therapy and cognitive therapy have potential limitations and problems when used for brief therapy. Gestalt therapy can be so focused on emotion that it dismisses the rational, reasoning side of the client. The process of Gestalt therapy can protect the therapist from fully connecting with his client. In addition there is some danger of client manipulation, especially in longer sessions where the client may be more vulnerable because of the sustained emotional stress. (Doermann, 1995)

Solution-based therapy may have the opposite problem, dismissing the emotional side of the client and the profound effect it might have on the client's ability to follow through on plans made during therapy sessions. Miller and de Shazer (2000) emphasize that the logical and emotional exist within the client together and that neither should be ignored.

Another problem with therapy is that therapists are human beings, and their judgment may not always be perfect. Mendlowitz (1999) reported cases where therapists attempted to influence clients inappropriate to get a desired result, including coercion and excessive attempts to influence the client. Mendlowitz noted that attempts at coercion in particular had a counterproductive effect, as it caused the clients to view their therapist negatively.


The need for more research is great. What research exists on Gestalt therapy suggests that it may not always work for the client. With more research, we might know under which circumstances it would be the best choice.

Dr. Tara Dineen sees a more ominous pattern in the increased popularity of psychotherapies, including brief therapies. She writes about the "victimization" of our culture, where any anguish, no matter how small or short in duration, may be diagnosed and treated. She questions whether everyone who gets therapy needs it. ((Persaud, 2000)

However, the professional literature demonstrates at least partial justification for increased numbers of people receiving therapy. For instance, it has been discovered that when the mother of a new infant is depressed for six months, the infant will show developmental delays. (Field, 2000) This makes a powerful case for early intervention in post-partum depression but also suggests the negative effects of poor mental health in general.

Other writers have expressed concern about the effect of the management practice called the Total Quality Movement (TQM) on mental health. Keys (1998) describes TQM as a rationalization when it comes to mental health. The approach looks at health services, including mental health services, statistically. It decrees that industrial styles of quality control can be applied to mental health services. However, according to Keys, the real goal was cost reduction, not increased customer satisfaction, and that primary care physicians had been limited in their ability to make appropriate referrals.


Calhoun, Lawrence G., and Tedeschi, Richard G. June, 1998. "Beyond Recovery from Trauma: Implications for Clinical Practice and Research." Journal of Social Issues.

Carranza, Laura V. Summer 2000. "Links Between Perceived parent Characteristics and Attachment Variables for Young Women from Intact Families." Adolescence.

Custer, Gilbert J., Jr. May 2001. "Cognitive-Behavioral Procedures, Second Edition." (book review). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Doermann, David James. "Gestalt Therapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 1995.

Field, Tiffany. Summer 2000. "Targeting Adolescent Mothers with Depressive Symptoms for Early Intervention." Adolescence.

Ford-Martin, Paula Ann. "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 1995.

Franzini, Louis R. April 2001. "Humor in Therapy: The Case for Training Therapists in Its Uses and Risks." Journal of General Psychology.

Friedberg, Robert D. April 2002. "How to do cognitive behavioral therapy with young children." The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter

Gingerich, Wallace J., and Eisengart, Sheri. December, 2000. "Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Review of the Outcome Research." Family Process.

Keys, Paul. " July 1998. The Betrayal of the Total Quality Movement in Western Management: Managed Health Care and Provider Stress." Family and Community Health.

Littrell, John M. Brief Counseling in Action. New York W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.

Magill-Lewis, Jilene. July 2000. "Psychotropics and Kids: Use of Srugs in Rreating ADHD Aets Off New Debate About Finding the Right Therapy for Children." Drug Topics.

McCarthy, Wanda C. Spring 1999. "Negative Aspects of Therapy: Client Perceptions of Therapists' Social Influence, Burnout, and Quality of Care." Journal of Social Issues.

Mendlowitz, Sandra L. Oct. 1999. "Cognitive-Behavioral Group Treatments in Childhood Anxiety Disorders:" Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Miller, Gale, and de Shazer, Steve. March 2000. "A Re-examination.

From Family Process." Family Process.

Persaud, Raj. Oct. 2000. "Review of Manufacturing Victims: What The Psychology Industry Is Doing To People.by Dr. Tana Dineen."

British Medical Journal.

Rosoi, Magdalena. "Wilderness Sept.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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