Brief Therapy Models

Brief Therapy Models



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The meaning of brief varies among therapists, but there is one common aspect: it is a blanket term that incorporates a variety of psychotherapies. Some therapists focus on the current patient’s observable behavioral interaction and aim to change the going system (Molnar & Shazer, 1987). This approach was engineered in response to situational limitations, as well as, patient needs (Molnar & Shazer, 1987). In practice, brief therapy has short versions of conventional and family therapies. The underpinnings of conventional and family therapies are employed but are brief. This approach is exceptionally useful if the desired therapy is unavailable or beyond the reach of the patient (Molnar & Shazer, 1987). Initially, brief therapy evaluated the history and etiology of clients’ predicaments, as well as sought to comprehend the objectives of those patients, but of late, the focus seems to be shifting to approaches that are geared towards solving problems.

In line with this, it is important for the therapist to understand several things prior to recommending a given solution-based intervention, and most importantly, that which triggers client-centered-desired change. Before recommending such an intervention, the therapist must understand:

  • What the client hopes to achieve;
  • The etiology of the client’s current problem;
  • The ability of the client to comply with the intervention in question;
  • The factors conditions are required for the intervention to work.

Let us take an example involving a patient with marriage challenges. In this challenge, the marriage has collapsed, and each parent lives with one of their two kids. The couple is allowed to come for brief therapy that employs concepts of family therapy. The ultimate goal of the proposed approach (family therapy) is to nurture change and development. The realization of this goal is client-centered. The target is to reunite the family. The family broke down when the wife discovered the husband’s infidelity. For the sake of the children, the therapist is seeking to reunite the family. The husband has realized his mistakes and is ready for the reunion, but the wife is still hurt.  Therefore, it essential for the therapist to get to the root of this problem, as well as, make the couple understand the consequences of their action.


Molnar, A., & Shazer, S. (1987). Solution-Focused Therapy. Toward The Identification of            Therapeutic Tasks. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 13(4), 349-358.

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