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What is Brief Strategic Therapy?

What is Brief Strategic Therapy?

Brief Strategic Psychotherapy or Brief Strategic Therapy It is a model of therapeutic intervention focused mainly on solutions, which ignores or does not delve into the origin of the psychological malaise or its cause. It has been developed by Giorgio Nardone and includes the theoretical models of Paul Watzlawick from the Palo Alto school in San Francisco (USA).

The foundations of the strategic approach can be summarized in:

  • Psychological problems are the result of the system of perception of the individual's reality.
  • To solve a problem you just have to understand how it works and stays in the present, without looking for the cause in the past.
  • The arbitrary attempts of solution put in practice by the patient or his relatives, are generally those that maintain the problem or generate new problems.

What is the Brief Strategic Therapy?

The Brief Strategic Therapy It is a creative and original way to focus the formation and solution of human problems in a psychological consultation.

The arbitrary attempts of solution put in practice by the patient or his relatives, are generally those that maintain the problem or generate new problems. It is a brief therapeutic intervention (briefly understanding less than 20 sessions) that deals, on the one hand, in eliminating the symptoms or dysfunctional behavior by which the person has resorted to therapy, and on the other hand, in producing a change of the modalities according to which the person builds his own personal and interpersonal reality.

Consequently, the Brief Strategic Therapy It represents a radical and lasting intervention and not a superficial and merely symptomatic therapy. Unlike traditional psychological and psychiatric theories, a strategic therapist does not use any theory about "human nature" and, therefore, much less definitions concerning "normality" or psychic "pathology." This approach is mainly interested in the "functionality" or "dysfunctionality" of people's behavior and their way of relating to their own reality.

When we face a difficulty - be it personal, relational or professional - the first thing we try to do to solve it is to use a strategy that seems productive to us, perhaps because it has worked in the past for a similar situation. If the strategy chosen works the difficulty is resolved in a short time, but sometimes it happens that our strategy does not work as we would expect and that this leads us to intensify our efforts in that direction, since the solution thought seems even the most logical, obvious , or the only one possible. But the more we apply this strategy the more the initial difficulty seems not only unresolvable but even complicated, becoming a real structured problem.

In these cases they are the same efforts that the person exerts in the direction of the change that maintains the immutable situation, that is: the “tried solutions” tested by the subject and by the people around him to try to solve the problem end up feeding him and determining So its persistence. These attempts at solution are often recognized by the person as non-functional but, despite that, she fails to do otherwise, thus developing a deep-rooted confidence in the possibility of changing the problem situation itself.

From a strategic point of view, therefore, to change a problematic situation it is not necessary to reveal the original causes (aspect on which, on the other hand, we would not have any possibility of intervention), but work on how this is maintained in the present, thanks to the repetition of the “attempted solution” adopted. For this reason, the strategic therapist focuses, from the beginning of the therapy, on the rupture of this vicious circle that was established between the solutions attempted and the persistence of the problem, working on the present rather than on the past, on how the problem works rather than on the "why" exists, on the search for solutions rather than causes.

The ultimate objective of the therapeutic intervention is thus transformed into the displacement of the subject's observation point from its original rigid and dysfunctional position (which manifests itself through the solutions attempted) towards a more elastic and functional perspective, with greater choice. In this way the person acquires the possibility of facing the problem without rigidity and without stereotypes, enjoying the advantage of having developed various resolution strategies.

To achieve this objective in the most efficient and fast way possible, the strategic intervention is of an active and prescriptive type and must produce results from the first session. If this does not happen, the therapist is in a position to modify his own strategy based on the client's responses, until he finds the ideal strategy to guide the person to the definitive change of his own problematic situation.

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