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Educ 323 Ch 14.docx

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EDUC 323
Alex Abdel- Malek

Educ 323 Ch 14: Solution Focused Therapy • Background: o Draws from 2 separate approaches, both rooted in early communications/systems theory  First variant is associated w/de Shazer and Insoo Kim berg of Center for Brief Family therapy  Second attributable to bill O’Hanlon (used terms solution centered, possibility therapy, collaborative, competence based counselling (most recently referred to as Possibility therapy)  Most admire Erikson  Asking Miracle question implies and demands faith in client’s capacity to create meaningful descriptions of what they want their lives to look like/how they want to be in the world • Can seem counterproductive for some ppl to do this, but important to do it so can realize things that can and can’t change • Basic philosophy: o Serious optimists, believe in power of language to create and define reality and therefore that there are no absolute truths (like Narrative)  Ppl create own realities and if there’s problems we can recreate reality in a more helpful way  Approach clients w/attitude that they have the strengths and resources to solve their complaints  Interaction designed to maximize client potential  Client= customer and problem=complaint (client know where they want to go and are motivated to get there) • Counsellor hired b/c they have expertise in constructing solutions  Counter assumptions in traditional approaches to psychotherapy (ie others maintain that change is difficult, SF says change is constant) o “Myths of traditional therapy”: there are always deep/underlying causes for symptoms (client problems are symptoms of these causal factors)  Awareness or insight necessary for change/symptom reduction (we must understand cause of symptom for ppl to recover)  Amelioration or removal of symptoms useless/shallow at best and harmful at worst  Symptoms serve functions  Clients are ambivalent about change and resistant to therapy  Real change takes time (brief interventions are shallow and don’t last)  Focus on identifying and correcting pathology and deficits (traditional therapies look for pathology, SF says if you look, you will find it) o Principles:  Clients have resources and strengths to resolve complaints • Therapists job to help client access these abilities and use them (clients often so focused on problem forget they have strengths)  Change is constant: if assume this one will behave as tho change is inevitable • Convey to client verbally and nonverbally that no surprise if problem persists  SF therapist’s job is to identify and amplify change: • Create reality w/client thru questions they ask and things they choose to focus on or ignore o Id what seems to be working, label it and work on making it happen more often  It is usually unnecessary to know a great deal about the complaint to resolve it: • Therapists can get stuck apparently b/c too much info on complain and not enough on solution o Find out what clients are already doing that’s working (work towards doing this more)  It is not necessary to know the cause or function of a complain to solve it: • Rumination before seek help • Society brain washes ppl so they ask WHY they have problem o Therapist counters with “would it be enough if problem were to disappear and you never understood why you had it?”  Small change is all that is necessary; a change in one part of the system can effect change in another part • Small positive change raise client confidence and w/counsellor support client begins to feel they can create more changes  Clients define the goal: • No one “correct” way to live o Refusing to believe that there’s some “real problem” that underlies symptom leads soln’ focused therapists to insist that clients determine goals for tx (as long as they’re not illegal/unrealistic)  Rapid change or resolution of problems is possible: • First session powerful- thru reconstructing views of situation w/counsellor clients typically see that they already know how to solve problem  There is no one “right” way to view things: dif views may be just as valid and may fit the facts just as well • People often problem focused, adopting solution oriented view more likely to produce change  Focus on what’s possible and changeable rather than on what’s impossible and intractable (unchangeable) • Human motivation: SF theorists don’t much care what motivates ppl in general o Simply observe what clients want to achieve and use client identified strengths and resources to meet goals o Distinguish b/w positive and negative motivation and further, past/present/future motivation  Positive and negative motivation (tendencies to move toward things we want and away from things we want to avoid) • Central constructs: o Exceptions: start w/basic assumption that regardless of severity of client’s presenting problem there’s always times when the problem doesn’t happen  Help clients see that they have moments of success already, just need to find a way to increase those activities o Change talk: goal of SF interview to talk about client’s problem in ways that bring about change  Complaints discussed in terms of specific behaviours amenable to change rather than using negatively valenced labels • Used of presumptive terms in place of probabilistic language (such as “when” not “if”) o Solutions: if we “accept client’s complaint as the reason for starting therapy, therapists should, by the same logic, accept the client’s statement of satisfactory improvement as the reason for terminating therapy  Don’t focus on client complaints, focus on what would be perceived (by client) as acceptable problem solution o Strengths and resources:  Don’t look for weaknesses, instead emphasize strengths of clients and resources they already can access • Theory of the person and development of the individual: o SF w/o theory of indiv/dysfunction  More theory of counselling than of human nature  Doesn’t care where problem comes from, not interested in history • Health and dysfunction: o Diagnosis: customer has come w/complain, SF therapists not concerned w/health or dysfunction, simply listen to client construction of problem, look for exceptions and construct solutions  Client determines what’s healthy (and goals of therapy) o Often help client redefine complain in solution oriented terms (Reframing) o How NOT to change: don’t listen to anybody, listen to everybody, endlessly analyze/don’t make any changes, blame others for your problems/actions, blame/put self down, keep doing things that don’t work, keep focusing on things when that focus doesn’t help, keep thinking same thoughts that don’t help, keep self in same unhelpful environment, keep relating to same unhelpful ppl, put more importance on being right than changing • Nature of therapy: o Assessment: not traditional- assessing client belongs in medical, problem focused approach  Instead interview for solutions from very beginning o Overview of therapeutic atmosphere:  Typically 4-5 sessions and most find solutions in fewer than 10 sessions, sometimes only 1 session necessary  Collaborative, therapists task in first session to dev working, cooperating rlnshp w/client (developing fit)  In establishing rlnshp therapist invites client cooperation by i
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