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Solution-Focused Group Therapy for Level 1 Substance Abusers


  • Sara A. Smock, PhD, Applied and Professional Studies, Texas Tech University; Terry S. Trepper, PhD, Joseph L. Wetchler, PhD, Rose Ray, PhD, and Kent Pierce, PhD, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Purdue University Calumet; Eric E. McCollum, PhD, Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Northern Virginia Center.

  • This project was completed at Purdue University Calumet’s Marriage and Family Therapy Center. Sara received the Purdue Calumet Graduate Research Award (2002), which funded this project. In 2004, Sara won the AAMFT’s Dissertation/Thesis award for this project. This project was presented at the Solution-Focused Practices conference in Loma Linda, California, fall of 2003.

Address correspondence to Sara A. Smock, Applied and Professional Studies, Broadway and Akron Street, Room 260, Human Sciences, Box 41162, Lubbock, Texas 79409-1162; E-mail:


The present study compared solution-focused group therapy (SFGT) with a traditional problem-focused treatment for level 1 substance abusers. Outcome research on the effectiveness of solution-focused group therapy is minimal, especially in treating substance abusers. In the present study, clients were measured before and after treatment to determine therapeutic effectiveness. Clients in the solution-focused group significantly improved on both the Beck Depression Inventory and the Outcome Questionnaire. The clients in the comparison group did not improve significantly on either measure. Therapist skill level and adherence to theoretical models were measured in each group to reduce confounding variables.

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