Solution Focused Therapy

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Running Head: SFBT
Incorporating
the
Solution Focused Brief Therapy Model
with
Teen Substance Abusers in Counseling

Abstract
This paper serves as a tool for discussion and is divided into four parts: to begin with, a brief description of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy approach is provided. Then provided is a description of the history and development of this therapeutic approach including common developmental and environmental factors. Next an overview of the prevalence of teen substance abuse and the possible cause’s teens chose to abuse illicit drugs and or alcohol is given. Lastly, this report will describe how the Solution-Focused-Brief Therapy approach can be applied as a therapeutic means to helping teens with substance abuse problems. Conclusions will indicate a support for the applicability of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy with teen substance abusers in counseling.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Introduction
Adolescence is a time of dramatic changes including significant physical, social, emotional, accompanied by changes in cognitive development. Intellectually and cognitively, adolescents are making the transition to the abstract thought processes. This is a critical period in how an adolescent views themselves, and these physical self-perceptions shaped at this period are important to understanding the start of wide range of social changes and challenges. Such change as substance abuse is a well-known characteristic change. Engle, and Macgowan, (2009), indicated that “the evidence suggests that counseling is a viable modality for treating adolescent AOD abuse despite recent concerns to the contrary” (Engle, Macgowan, 2009). Most types of psychotherapy involve exploring feelings, being validated, finding explanations, exploring wishes and dreams, setting goals, and gaining more clarity. Every therapist has unique ways of working with clients, based on his or her personality, training, and views of how people change. Bannick writes that “within psychotherapy there is an evolution from lengthy to short forms of treatment and from cure to prevention” (Bannick, 2007). In this evolution the clients become increasingly uncontrolled and the “the therapist adopts an enabling role, coaching the client in exploring his own way of solving the problems experienced, thereby using his own competence to the greatest extent possible. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) supports this evolution and abandons the medical model” (Bannick, 2007). Older counseling therapeutic approaches consumed too much time thinking about the problems the ideologies of solution-focused brief therapy are an effective approach when counseling teen substance abusers. SFBT Defined

In an age of managed care, limited amount of counseling sessions and emphasizing in cutting cost, solution-focused brief therapy provides an approach to work in an empowering and hopeful way, for both the client and the therapist (NWBTTC, 2010). This approach has been used in “…mental health centers, inpatient psychiatric units, chemical dependency centers, homeless shelters, child protective services, adolescent treatment facilities, HMOs and private practice” (NWBTTC, 2010). According to the NWBTTC “solution-focused brief therapy targets what works rather than what’s wrong. It is based on a non-pathology model that emphasizes the strengths and resources of client(s) in a collaborative effort to reach goals and resolve problems rapidly” (NWBTTC, 2010). The principles and techniques of solution-focused brief therapy are easily integrated with other therapy approaches making it easy for a therapist to use this method. Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), often referred to as simply “solution focused therapy” or “brief therapy” focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them to seek help. As the name suggests, it is about being brief and focusing on solutions, rather than on problems....
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