Solution Focused vs Family Therapy in Working with Case of George

Topics: Solution focused brief therapy, Family therapy, Self-esteem Pages: 12 (3590 words) Published: March 3, 2011
This paper uses the application, concepts and techniques from The Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and The Satir Model under Family Therapy in working with the case study of George.

Presenting Issues:
• Marital problem due to disagreement regarding whether or not to have a child. This has led to a number of arguments. • Lack of effective communication in the marriage.
• Lack of confidence and low self-esteem : feeling of hopelessness, “not being good enough” and “not worthy” • Disappointed with himself.
• Becoming more irritable with people especially in social situations. • Having mood swings.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is one of the more recently developed theories in modern counseling. SFBT approach believed in focusing on solutions rather than on problems. It aims to explore current resources and future hopes of the client rather than present problem solving. De Shazer (1988, 1991) suggests that it is not necessary to know the cause of the problem and to solve it and there is no necessary relationship between problems and solutions.

Applications of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy to the case of George In SFBT, the clients are the experts in their own lives and De Shazer (1991) believes that clients can come up with solutions to their problems without any assessment of the nature of their problems. George is involved as a collaborator in the ongoing assessment and the therapist engages George in collaborative conversation centering about change and generating ideas for making changes in the future.

Prioriatising the Problems
Quick (2007) commented that Solution focused therapy is a therapy with a “focus.” It is not a therapy characterized by open-ended conversation with a great deal of free association. Clarifying and prioritizing client’s problem helps to guide the direction of the therapy and focus on the complaint that the client is hoping that the therapy will help to resolve.

George does not only present one straightforward problem but a series of complex issues which includes his frequent mood swings, relationship with people, perception and expectation of self and his marital issues with his wife. The therapist needs to identify which of the problems is affecting George the most and is what he would like to work on. The therapist starts the session by inviting George to share the purpose of coming for the session and may ask George “Of all the problems, which is the one that is bothering you the most?” Clarifying problems can normalize feelings and become an intervention that leads to second order change (Quick, 2007).

Using Exception Finding Questions
The therapist noted that George has low self-esteem and is often doubtful about his capability and worthiness. The therapist may ask exception questions to direct George to the time when the problem did not exist. Exceptions are those past experiences in a client’s life when it would be reasonable to have expected the problem to occur but it did not (De Shazer, 1985). The therapist may pose an exception question to George “How different is it for you during times when you have not experience low self-esteem?” George is able to identify some of his strength and positive traits: his adventurous spirit for willing to take up the challenge of working in a big company despite knowing that he is not a risk taker and wanting to be better by having high expectations of himself.

The therapist may ask “When are the time where your confidence is high and you feel you will accomplish what you wish?” to help George recall the time when he is more confident of himself.

George is having marital problems with his wife which has led to a number of heated arguments. By asking “When is your marriage at it’s happiest?”, the therapist hopes to lead George back to the time when his marriage was doing well and explore what were the success factor for the couple during their happiest...

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