Brief Therapy | E Therapy

Brief therapy

This therapy is psychodynamic and grew out of the necessity of WW2 when many traumatised armed personnel returned from the war, and psychoanalysis was not viable. Brief therapy lasts from 3 to 40 sessions, they are limited and are contracted for at the start of the counselling.

The basic concept with ‘brief’ therapy is three distinct aspects: beginning, the active phase and the ending; and due to the limited nature the sessions available need to be utilised to the full. Budman and Gurman (1988) suggest there are three elements for the client in this type of therapy:

This therapy is not suitable for ‘borderline’ or psychotic clients and so an assessment is carried out to see:

  • The client’s ability to work in this way.
  • The client’s willingness to change.
  • The client’s ability to have close relationships.
  • Whether there is relational contact with the therapist.
  • If there is a specific issue the client wants to work on in therapy.

The therapist is active in identifying a clear focus for the therapy therefore would only work with and follow certain threads of the client’s material. For example, a focus on a bereavement would be to explore the grief of losing the person, their coping negative mechanisms, support from others and finding a way of coping more positively. If there was depression as a result of the grief, that would not be a focus for the work.

The therapist may be more challenging about the transference due to the limited nature of the work, as opposed to another type of psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapist who would allow the insights to occur for the client.

This therapy is suitable for adults.