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What is the client’s principal position (attitude, opinion, motivation) in regard to the problem? How can I best boil this down to its basic thrust or value? Since I know what I would like the client to do to resolve his problem, how can I state this so that it will be consistent with that position?The purpose of brief therapy is to influence the client in such a way that his original complaint is resolved to his satisfaction.
But he also knows that he will almost never make a sale to someone who has come into the store just to get out of the rain.[The therapist must] notice whether the patient is much bothered by the problem.
The commonest mistake is for the therapist to conceal his intimidation.
”In essence, the principal task of therapy is to influence the client to deal differently with his problem or complaint.
If they define someone else as the patient, they will present themselves either as benevolently concerned about a person who is “sick” or as victimized by a person who is “bad.”1.
It is better for a therapist to appear dull and slow than to feign understanding when matters are not really clear.“How do you see me as being helpful in dealing with that problem?
How did you come to call me at the particular time you did, rather than sooner or later?
The common thread in strategies of resolving fear/avoidance problems, then, is to expose that patient to the feared task while restraining him from successfully completing it.
In marital problems, the complainant will usually try to wrest consideration from the spouse through complaint rather than request.“My role here is not to play detective and determine which one of you is right or wrong.
[Therapists] are under no injunction to perform instantly.“Well I have never met your husband; but judging from what you have told me, I think I would be inclined to agree with you.”“I have a suggestion to make, but I’m not sure how much it will accomplish.
It will depend on your ability to use your imagination and, perhaps, on your readiness to take a step toward improvement.”Just as the therapist must be able to take a noncommitted or fluid position, the patient must be helped to take committed or nonfluid positions.