BARRY L.DUNCAN, PsyD
SCOTT D.MILLER, PhD
JACQUELINE A.SPARKS, PhD, LMFT
Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change
In this chapter, the term brief therapy refers to two distinct, yet interrelated, approaches of intervention in family therapy-the interactional approach outlined by the Mental Research Institute (MRI) and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) of the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC). Included in this discussion is a third perspective-an overarching conceptual framework based on common factors, arguably logical heir to the rich MRI and SFBT heritage. Rather than present an exhaustive treatise on these approaches, our aim is to link concepts of relationship and change espoused by each with current outcome research. In addition, we argue that an increasing reliance on the medical model as a foundation for research and practice undermines brief therapy traditions and their relevance to family therapy's future.
“It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards, ” the Queen remarked.
The history of brief therapy is, in many ways, the history of family therapy. Family therapy diverged into a distinct professional paradigm within a climate of theoretical and practical skepticism and intense interest in the mechan-