Brief Therapy: Focused Problem Resolution


  • The Brief Therapy Center was initiated by a grant from the Luke B. Hancock Foundation and matching funds from the T. B. Walker Foundation and the Robert C. Wheeler Foundation, whose support is gratefully acknowledged. In addition to the authors, the work of the Center has depended heavily on the services, largely volunteered, of Mrs. Barbara McLachlan as project secretary and of Mrs. Elaine Sorensen, Paul Druckman, M.D., Frank D. Gerbode, M.D., Jack Simon, M.D., Thomas M. Ferguson, Lynn Segal, George S. Greenberg, and Joel Latner as research assistants, at various periods.

    We would also like to acknowledge the help of a number of guest therapists, whose work allowed us to observe and compare various treatment styles; these included Don D. Jackson, M.D., Arthur B. Hardy, M.D., Ralph I. Jacobs, M.D., Roland C. Lowe, Ph.D., Patricia Hewitt, Ph.D., Constance Collinge Hansen, M.S.W., and Jay Haley, M.A.


This article describes a general view of the nature of human problems and their effective resolution and of related specific procedures, growing out of our prior work in family therapy, that have developed during six years of research on rapid problem resolution. With treatment limited to a maximum of ten sessions, we have achieved significant success in about three-fourths of a sample of 97 widely varied cases, and this approach to problems appears to have considerable potential for further development and wider application.