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Counselling Psychology: Brief Therapy

Our text states that many therapists are moving towards the use of briefer therapy due to societal pressures for accountability and cost-effectiveness. However, in the Ikonen article (p.16), the importance of order and pace during self-observation is mentioned. If self-observation occurred quickly, it might be a huge shock to the client, and would also "rob him of seeing the order and steps he would have needed to take in order to give up these obstacles and allow others to get to know him."

I think that pre-established time limits might force the analyst and analysand to self-explore quicker and this may lead to faulty interpretations. I was wondering how beneficial you think this briefer therapy would be to the analysand in terms of self-observation?

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Please see response attached, which also is presented below.


Some would argue that brief therapy is less useful in self-observation, while others would argue the opposite. Indeed, many therapists find the focused nature of brief therapy very effective in self-exploration for focused problem(s) through session work and homework assignments. The homework involves self-exploration exercises, which are often later discussed in the next session leading to greater self-awareness in terms how one responds to certain situations and how others respond to us. It is active participation of the therapist and client, so there is often less need for therapist interpretation than for long-term psychoanalysis, for example. However, a comprehensive assessment helps to determine those who might not benefit from brief therapy.

Let's take a closer look.

Some brief therapies, for example, are "time limited," allocating a fixed number of sessions for clients. Such limits often are dictated by administrative policies, such as benefit limits among insurance plans or service restrictions within clinics or counseling centers that have limited professional resources. http://grajdaru.3x.ro/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.141

Because, true brief therapy makes an active effort from the outset to streamline change processes, the active involvement of both parties allows for self-exploration in and out of session e.g., homework ...

Solution Summary

This solution explores the implications of brief therpay in terms of the client's ability to engage in self-exploration.