Compare and contrast Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy

3243 words 13 pages

The current essay focuses on two different therapeutic techniques, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. The initial component of the essay outlines the therapeutic orientations of both approaches; then, the different approaches are related to a case study of a young lady called Linda who is seeking counseling due to feelings of hopelessness. The essay is then finished with some of the author’s personal opinions on the two therapeutic approaches.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

While Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been in development since the 1980’s, it has only recently risen to prominence and is sometimes described as a ‘new wave’ therapeutic technique. ACT is a
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Unrealistic goals may be negotiated with the therapist. Unlike other therapies no homework is given and no advice is given as to what should be done next. As Insoo Kim Berg said: ‘leave no footprints in the clients life’. The word ‘brief’ in SFBT means that therapy should not last ‘one more session than is necessary’. Research shows that the average client utilizes 3 to 6 and a half sessions (Macdonald, 2011).

The therapist seeks to maintain respectful curiosity about the client’s situation. The therapist assumes that change is possible or even inevitable, given the nature of the human existence, this philosophical stand point has its basis in Buddhist teachings, that change is a continual process and stability is only an illusion (Richard, 2011).

Assumptions of SFBT

De Shazer’s 3 rules which underpin SFBT

1 If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
2 Once you know what works do more of it
3 If it doesn’t work, don’t do it again, do something different (Rafter et al, 2012).

All clients are motivated towards something. Clients do not lack motivation and it is the therapist’s job to uncover what they are motivated towards. Attempting to understand the cause of the problem is not helpful and, in some cases, can be harmful as clients get caught up in describing their situation in negative language. However fixed a problem pattern may be, the client will be engaging in some of the solution.

Linda’s presenting problem

Linda has come to


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