August 12, 2009

Four useful interventions in Brief Family Therapy by Steve de Shazer and Alex Molnar

One of the nicest early publications on the solution focused approach I find the article Four Useful Interventions in Brief Family Therapy by Steve de Shazer and Alex Molnar. It was published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in 1984. Here is the abstract:
At the Brief Family therapy Center we have developed some interventions that have repeatedly been found useful. Once a generalizable intervention is designed for a particular case and found effective, the team attempts to replicate by using it in other appropriate situations. When a pattern of usefulness emerges, it is time to think about and study what is going on that makes the intervention useful. The purpose of this paper is to describe four such interventions, the situations in which to use them or not use them, and our thinking about what is going on in each example.
The article then goes on to describe the following four interventions: 1) the First Session Formula Task, 2) Do something different, 3) the overcoming-the-urge task, and 4) the stability as change intervention. With many articles as PDF files online these days, it is a pity that this one is not yet online. At least, as far as I know. If you find it online, let me know. In the meantime, if you want to know more you can read a bit more about it in this article: A brief history of the solution-focused approach.

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