So you've decided to seek some counselling or psychotherapy to address some problems you have felt stuck with. Now what kind of psychotherapy will be best suited to help you?
One approach is Solution Oriented Brief Therapy (SBT), a short term process that supports clients to make changes to achieve desired results. There are different variations of brief therapy; all focus on here and now, are task oriented, set specific goals and take, on average, six to twelve sessions to show effective results.
In contrast to psychoanalytic or psychodynamic approaches that emphasize how problems developed in the past, solution- oriented therapy looks at the present and future. It focuses on discovering what people are doing that works and helps them deliberately use that knowledge to eliminate problems. It encourages people to move out of analyzing the nature of the problem and how it arose and instead to begin to find solutions and take actions to solve it. Existing strengths are expanded, exceptions to problems are sought and skills are transferred from one area of competence to another.
This contemporary approach has grown increasingly popular in our fast paced communities with time and money pressures. It can be combined with other present- focused approaches, such as cognitive behavior therapy and family therapy.
What is so great about the solution-oriented approach is that, since it uses your solutions, you can act as your own consultant, and the remedies you find will be custom-tailored, so they fit much better than advice from some outside expert. SBT therapists see themselves as collaborators, coaches and change agents.
SBT and solution-focused therapy have been extensively researched and well documented. The original father of this here and now orientation was the psychiatrist Milton Erickson, who also emphasized using people's strengths to overcome problems. Steve de Shazer later built on these principles and established the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Milwaukee USA.
Several therapists at The Delta Centre have trained in and use this approach to help clients find ways to live more satisfying lives. If this more active form of therapy sounds right for you, call The Delta Centre and arrange an appointment.
Bill O Hanlon (1999), Do One Thing Different : Ten Simple ways to Change Your Life Harper Collins.
Matthew Selekman (2002), Living on The Razor's Edge: Solution- Oriented Brief Family Therapy with Self-harming Adolescents. W W Norton
Michele Weiner-Davis (1993), Divorce Busting, Simon & Schuster Inc.
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