Pub. Date:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Theory and Practice of Brief Therapy / Edition 1

Theory and Practice of Brief Therapy / Edition 1

by Simon H. Budman PhD, Alan S. Gurman PhD


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This classic work provides a richly textured overview of the "whys" and "hows" of brief therapy. The authors identify the central features of effective, time-limited interventions for individuals, couples, families, and groups. Taking a developmental approach to treatment, they explain how brief therapy can help at different times in a patient's life, as changes and transitions bring on new stresses and challenges. A practical framework is provided for selecting and screening patients, rapidly finding a focus for clinical work, and making optimal use of available time. Case examples and extensive transcripts are included to illustrate the use of strategies and techniques drawn from many different psychotherapy perspectives. Throughout, the focus is on creative and efficient ways to help patients build on existing strengths and make desired changes in their interactions with others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572308213
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 08/13/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 402
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Simon H. Budman, PhD, until his death in 2017, was an internationally known behavioral psychologist, researcher, and author. He was the founder of Inflexxion, which helps healthcare organizations, provider communities, pharmaceutical companies, and regulatory authorities improve patient care and inform public policy.
Alan S. Gurman, PhD, until his death in 2013, was Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. A pioneer in the development of integrative approaches to couple therapy, he edited and wrote many influential books; was a past two-term editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy; and was former President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Gurman received numerous awards for his contributions to couple and family therapy, including the Distinguished Achievement in Family Therapy Research Award from the American Family Therapy Academy and the Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association. He also received the Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teaching and Training from the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.

Read an Excerpt

1. The Practice of Brief Therapy: An Introduction
2. Initiating Brief Therapy
3. Common Foci in Brief Therapy and Some Basic Assumptions
4. Losses
5. Developmental Dysynchrony
6. Marital and Family Conflicts: Early Treatment Issues and Assessment
7. The Brief Therapy of Marital and Family Conflicts
8. Symptomatic Presentations: The Uses of Clinical Hypnosis
9. Treating Personality Disorders
10. Time-Limited Group Psychotherapy
11. Time and Termination
12. A Case Transcript

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.The Practice of Brief Therapy: An Introduction1
The Historical Context1
Defining Brief Therapy: How Long Is "Short," and to Whom?4
The Effectiveness of Brief Therapy--by Design and by Default6
Attitudinal and Systems Limitation Factors in Brief Therapy10
Technical Treatment Issues in Brief Therapy17
Patient Selection for Brief Therapy21
Chapter 2.Initiating Brief Therapy26
The Issue of Focus in Brief Psychotherapy27
An I-D-E Checklist36
Maximizing Therapeutic Leverage during Initial Contacts46
Chapter 3.Common Foci in Brief Therapy and Some Basic Assumptions62
The Five Most Common Foci63
The Process of Finding a Focus66
Brief Intervention: Some Assumptions67
Chapter 4.Losses74
Interpersonal Losses74
Existential Losses78
The Brief Therapy of Interpersonal and Existential Losses82
Therapist Pitfalls in the Brief Treatment of Losses95
Chapter 5.Developmental Dysynchrony97
Perspectives on the Course of Emotional Development97
Points of Vulnerability to Developmental Dysynchrony102
The Brief Therapy of Developmental Dysynchrony104
Therapist Pitfalls in Dealing with Developmental Dysynchrony119
Chapter 6.Marital and Family Conflicts: Early Treatment Issues and Assessment120
The Long Tradition of Brief Marital and Family Therapy121
Values of the Brief Therapist Treating Marital and Family Problems122
Initiating Brief Marital and Family Therapy123
Marital and Family Assessment148
Chapter 7.The Brief Therapy of Marital and Family Conflicts163
Brief Therapy of Extramarital Affairs165
Stage Theory and Marital/Family Dissolution169
Chapter 8.Symptomatic Presentations: the Uses of Clinical Hypnosis188
A History of Clinical Hypnosis190
Controversies in Hypnosis192
Preparing a Patient for Hypnosis195
Hypnotic Induction197
Specific Problem Areas202
Chapter 9.Treating Personality Disorders214
The Nature of Personality Disorders215
Classification of Personality Disorders216
Psychotherapy with Personality-Disordered Patients218
A Theoretical Model for Intervention with Personality-Disordered Patients223
Treatment of Specific Character Clusters231
Interminable Brief Therapy for Severe Borderline Character Disorders242
Concluding Comments245
Chapter 10.Time-Limited Group Psychotherapy246
Length of Treatment in Short-Term Group Psychotherapy247
Central Aspects of Short-Term Group Therapy248
Phases of Short-Term Group Psychotherapy268
Chapter 11.Time and Termination283
The Use of Time in Brief Psychotherapy283
The Issue of Termination285
Case Examples290
Chapter 12.A Case Transcript302
David: Session 1303
David: Session 2313
David: Session 3323
David: Session 4333
David and Lisa: Session 5342
David and Lisa: Session 6350
David and Lisa: Session 7363
Subject Index395


Practitioners and students of psychotherapy, couple and family therapy, and counseling. May serve as a text in graduate-level courses on brief therapy.

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