Because of limited mental health resources, third-party payers are demanding that clinicians use briefer therapeutic approaches, approaches that can be as effective and more cost-efficient than long-term psychotherapy. Unfortunately, there is a significant gap between the demand and the supply of professionals who can use these methods effectively. Brief therapy requires specialized training to produce favorable outcomes. Because the effectiveness of the procedure depends on how well the therapist understands the patient and is able to predict and overcome the patient's resistance, improperly trained therapists can expect poorer therapeutic outcomes. Fortunately, there is a source that can help clinicians use brief therapy effectively.
A useful teaching tool and handy clinical reference, the Concise Guide to Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy presents therapists with seven brief psychodynamic therapy models, including supportive therapy, time-limited therapy, interpersonal therapy, time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, short-term dynamic therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder, brief dynamic therapy for substance abuse disorders, and brief psychodynamic psychotherapy with children. These seven models are well-established, short-term approaches to common clinical problems and can accommodate the 10- to 20-session time frame found in most managed care settings. In jargon-free style, each chapter focuses on a particular approach. It matches particular patient problems best handled by that approach; discusses each model in terms of its overall framework, selection criteria, goals, therapeutic tasks and strategies, empirical support, and relevance for managed care; and uses clinical cases to illustrate how each model is applied. A separate chapter covering the use of psychopharmacology in brief psychotherapy is also included.
By using this book and the models it describes, therapists can enrich their clinical practice and will have a greater palette of approaches that can help patients in a time-efficient and effective manner.
[T]his text is an important contribution to the field. It is well-suited for any clinician working with patients in a brief, time-limited format...I would recommend and make use of this book in my clinical practice (Hisham Hafez, M.D., Medical Director, Charter Brookside Hospital, Nashua, New Hampshire).
This is an excellent introduction to brief dynamic psychotherapy as practiced today. Drawing knowledgeably on the burgeoning literature of brief psychotherapy, the authors provide a clear and well-organized overview that will be of considerable interest to novices as well as seasoned practitioners (Hans H. Strupp, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee).
Stephen F. Butler, Ph.D., is Vice President of Innovative Training Systems, Inc., a research and consulting firm based in Massachusetts. He has held faculty appointments in the Vanderbilt Psychology Department and the Psychiatry Department of the Medical College of Virginia, and was also Director of Psychology at Nashua Brookside Hospital, Nashua, New Hampshire.
Bernard D. Beitman, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine and Chairman of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri.