By Jane E. Peller, John L. Walter
Publish 12 months note: First released in 1992
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Additional resources for Becoming Solution-Focused in Brief Therapy
Mother's intent was to remind her daughter that smoking was bad and that her grades were slipping. " However, to the daughter, the meaning of her mother's message was very different. She saw it not as "helpful," but rather as "restrictive" of her freedom and independence. The daughter in this case decided to show her mother that she was independent; therefore, she did more smoking and spent more time with her friends than with her homework. This was consistent with the meaning she informed to her mother's actions.
Given that clients are organized around the purpose of a goal or of solving a problem and that goals or problems are relative to the meaning Copyrighted Material Assumptions of a Solution-Focused Approach 33 with which the goals or problems are described, the meaning is key to this therapy. We facilitate the evolution of new meaning, a co-constructed solution by which these clients will continue to be organized—or they will disband because the original purpose (the solving of a problem) no longer exists.
A man who had AIDS had been receiving medical treatment in his home by a visiting nurse and stated that his physical and mental state was okay. The problem that he wanted help with was that he was having difficulty in distinguishing between the times he was physically not well and, therefore, needed to stay in bed, and those times where he was depressed or procrastinating about doing his work. For him, it was acceptable to stay in bed for health reasons, but it was not acceptable to stay in bed because of procrastination or depression.