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Solution-focused therapy is a strengths-based approach, emphasizing the resources people invariably possess and how these can be applied to the change process. A review was undertaken on the treatment outcome research involving solution-focused therapy to determine empirically its effectiveness. The review involved experimental or quasi-experimental designs conducted from 1985 to 2006 and was limited to published studies written in the English language. Subject, intervention and methodological information on studies were collected, as well as statistical information necessary to calculate effect sizes. After searching the literature, ten studies were located and described. No particular characteristics emerged regarding studies with high versus low effect sizes. Implications for research are advanced based on the review, especially related to social work practice.
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© The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of
The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
British Journal of Social Work (2009) 39, 234–242
Advance Access publication September 14, 2007
A Review of the Research on
Solution-Focused Therapy
Jacqueline Corcoran and Vijayan Pillai
Dr. Jacqueline Corcoran is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School
of Social Work, where she teaches Direct Practice, Human Behavior, and Research. Her books
include Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in Social Work Practice (Oxford, 2006, with Joseph
Walsh), Cognitive-Behavioral Methods for Social Workers: A Workbook (Allyn Bacon,
2006), Building Strengths and Skills: A Collaborative Approach to Working with Clients
(Oxford, 2004), Clinical Applications of Evidence-Based Family Interventions (Oxford,
2003), and Evidence-Based Social Work Practice with Families: A Lifespan Approach
(Springer, 2000).
Dr. Vijayan Pillai is director of the Ph.D, program in social work at the University of Texas-
Arlington. He obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and MSW
from Indore School of Social Work, Indore. He has published several articles on the relation-
ship between women’s rights and reproductive health at a cross national level in developing
countries. He is currently working on a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of family planning
programs in developing countries in reducing fertility levels.
Correspondence to Jacqueline Corcoran, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of
Social Work, 6295 Edsall Road, Suite 210, Alexandria, VA 22312, USA. E-mail: jcorcora@
Solution-focused therapy is a strengths-based approach, emphasizing the resources
people invariably possess and how these can be applied to the change process. A
review was undertaken on the treatment outcome research involving solution-focused
therapy to determine empirically its effectiveness. The review involved experimental or
quasi-experimental designs conducted from 1985 to 2006 and was limited to published
studies written in the English language. Subject, intervention and methodological
information on studies were collected, as well as statistical information necessary to
calculate effect sizes. After searching the literature, ten studies were located and
described. No particular characteristics emerged regarding studies with high versus low
effect sizes. Implications for research are advanced based on the review, especially
related to social work practice.
Keywords: solution-focused therapy, strengths-based, treatment outcome
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Review of the Research on Solution-Focused Therapy 235
As the name suggests, solution-focused therapy emphasizes the strengths
people bring and how these can be applied to the change process. The assump-
tion is that individuals possess the necessary resources to resolve their own
problems. Proof of these resources is found by eliciting and exploring times at
which the problem does not exert its negative influence and/or at which the cli-
ent has coped successfully (de Shazer, 1994). Attention, rather than being
focused on the history of the problem, orients to a future without the problem.
Assessment is focused on helping people visualize how they would like their
lives to be, identifying times at which the solution (or part of it) has already
happened, and figuring out what is needed to make the solution happen and
keep it happening (de Shazer, 1994).
Solution-focused therapy has a number of compatibilities with social work.
Social work touts a strengths-based perspective and client collaboration. In
solution-focused therapy, clients are encouraged to find the solutions that fit
their own worldview (de Jong and Berg, 2001). The practitioner works collabora-
tively with the client to build client awareness of strengths, which are then mobi-
lized and applied to problem situations. Solution-focused and social work
practice also share a systemic view. The importance of context as an influence on
individual behaviour is emphasized rather than dysfunction within the individual.
Solution-focused therapy further discusses how small changes impact the system
in transactional ways (O’Hanlon and Weiner-Davis, 1989). Although solution
focused therapy is classified as a ‘therapy’ approach, it is actually applicable to
the wide range of settings and problems with which direct practice social workers
are involved, such as crisis intervention (Greene et al., 1996), child protective
services (Berg, 1994; Berg and Kelly, 2000; Corcoran, 1999; Corcoran and Franklin,
1998), and the school setting (Durrant, 1995; Murphy, 1997).
Treatment outcome research on solution-focused therapy is building slowly.
Some reasons have been advanced to explain the slow pace of empirical inves-
tigation for solution-focused therapy. First, the solution-focused view is that
intervention begins at the assessment stage. Most measures tend to be prob-
lem-focused in nature; therefore, an assessment period devoted to a problem
focus would detract from the strengths orientation of solution-focused therapy.
A second reason that may contribute to the lack of research on solution-
focused therapy involves its brief focus. An argument can be made that change
may not be apparent after only a few sessions as assessed by standardized mea-
sures. In addition, requiring people to attend a certain standard length of treat-
ment goes against the tenants of solution-focused therapy, which is that people
choose for themselves how long to keep coming, even if it is only one session.
Probably the major explanation for the lack of research involves the con-
structivist origins of solution-focused therapy. The constructivist viewpoint is
that knowledge about reality is constructed from social interactions (Berg and
de Jong, 1996). Sharing perceptions with others through language and engaging
in conversational dialogues is the medium by which reality is shaped (de
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236 Jacqueline Corcoran and Vijayan Pillai
Shazer, 1994). Thus, the solution-focused practitioner uses language and ques-
tioning to influence the way clients view their problems, the potential for solu-
tions and the expectancy for change (Berg and De Jong, 1996). These
constructivist origins do not fit within the positivist framework that gives rise to
quantitative procedures and treatment outcome studies.
In 2000, Gingerich and Eisengart conducted a review, categorizing the
fifteen studies they found according to their quality in terms of research design.
Five well controlled studies were identified, all of which showed positive out-
comes. Since that time, other studies have been conducted. At this point, a suf-
ficient knowledge base has accumulated so that we may again review the
effectiveness of solution-focused therapy.
Search criteria
Several criteria were involved in the search for studies, which covered 1985,
when solution-focused therapy began, to mid-2006. First, solution-focused
therapy was the focus of studies, demonstrated by authors citing the originators
of solution-focused therapy (Berg, de Shazer and colleagues) and describing
the use of solution-focused interventions, including the miracle question
(exception-finding), using idiosyncratic language (externalizing) and scaling
questions. Intervention periods varied, but, by definition, solution-focused
therapy is brief in nature. Interventions that used only aspects of solution-
focused therapy, combining them with other interventions, were excluded.
A major criterion of the review was that studies had experimental or quasi-
experimental designs. Single-subject, single-group post-test only and single-
group pre-test/post-test studies were excluded. Outcomes of studies necessarily
varied, depending on the problem and population being researched, but data
had to include client outcomes other than or in addition to client satisfaction.
Databases searched included psychINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, Medline/
Pubmed, Social Work Research Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Sociolog-
ical Abstracts and the Cochrane and Campbell Libraries, using the terms solu-
tion-focused (oriented) therapy (intervention, treatment). Published studies
only were the focus. Experts in the area of solution-focused therapy, such as
Insoo Kim Berg (before her death), were contacted to identify unpublished
research and trials still under way, but no new studies were identified this way.
Finally, the references in reviews and primary studies were examined to iden-
tify new studies. Articles written in English were an exclusive emphasis.
Each study was coded by the principal investigator and one student from a team
of two trained masters in social work students, who were taking an advanced
research course. Discrepancies in coding were resolved by discussion.
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Review of the Research on Solution-Focused Therapy 237
In addition to statistical data necessary to compute an effect size, design,
subject and intervention-related variables were collected. Subject characteris-
tics included gender, socio-economic status, race of subjects, developmental
stage (youth, adults or elderly) and type of problem. Intervention characteris-
tics included length of the intervention, its modality of delivery and the field of
practice of service deliverers.
Methodological quality was rated along the following features (with point
the type of group design with studies reporting randomization to different
treatment conditions and a control group being accorded the highest rating (5
points), followed by those involving randomization to a treatment and con-
trol group (4 points), randomization to a treatment and a comparison group
(3 points), non-randomization to a treatment and control group (2 points)
and nonrandomization to a treatment and comparison group (1 point);
whether follow-up was conducted (1 point);
whether at least 30 subjects completed treatment in each group (1 point);
whether measures were standardized (1 point).
There were a total of eight possible quality points.
Data analysis
To compute effect sizes, we used Hedges’s g, which is the difference between
two means (i.e. treatment and control) divided by the pooled standard devia-
tion, with an adjustment for sample size (Hedges and Olkin, 1985). For each
measure that was used in the studies, an effect size was computed. Also,
within each study, an average effect size was obtained from all the measures
Although hundreds of studies were screened, most were not included in the
study. The most common reason for exclusion was that published articles focused
on case studies or theoretical applications of solution-focused therapy to particu-
lar problems and populations, rather than involving empirical study. When treat-
ment outcome research was involved, studies were often excluded because they
were either single-subject designs or they were pre-test, post-test designs.
After screening of studies and inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, ten
studies comprised the review. Tables 1 and 2 describe the intervention and
methodological characteristics of the ten studies. There were a variety of prob-
lem areas described in the studies and populations ranged from youth to the
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238 Jacqueline Corcoran and Vijayan Pillai
Table 1 Intervention characteristics
Study Problem area
Modality and average
number of sessions Type of practitioners
Cockburn et al.
Individual, six sessions Not stated
Child behaviour problems Family, five sessions Masters social work
Eakes et al.
Care-givers of individuals with
Family, five sessions Psychiatric nurses
et al. (1999)
Family members and nurses
taught to manage behaviour
problems in elders in a
nursing home
Family, seven sessions Social work students
Lindforss and
Criminal offending Individual, five sessions Family therapists
Littrell et al.
Teens with school problems Individual, one session School counsellors
Rhee et al.
Callers at a telephone
crisis hotline
Telephone psychother-
apy (average session
length not provided)
Majority social work
graduate students
Springer et al.
Hispanic children of
incarcerated parents
Group, six sessions Licensed social
et al. (1996)
Parents who experience
adolescent–parent conflict
Group, six sessions Marriage and family
therapy graduate
et al. (1997)
Marital problems Couples, groups,
six sessions
Marriage and family
therapy graduate
Table 2 Methodological characteristics and effect sizes for studies
Study Total N Design Quality rating
Cockburn et al. (1997) 48 Randomized treatment and comparison
groups (Solomon 4-group design)
Corcoran (2006) 83 Nonrandomized treatment and comparison
Eakes et al. (1997) 10 Nonrandomized treatment and comparison
Ingersoll-Dayton et al.
42 Randomized treatment and control group
w/seven-week follow-up for experimental
Lindforss and
Magnusson (1997)
59 Randomized treatment and control group
w/twelve and sixteen-month follow-up
after prison release
Littrell et al. (1995) 61 Nonrandomized treatment and comparison
group w/two and 6-week follow-up
Rhee et al. (2005) 55 Randomized treatment, comparison and
control groups
Springer et al. (2000) 10 Nonrandomized treatment and control group 3
Zimmerman et al.
42 Randomized treatment and control groups 6
Zimmerman et al.
72 Nonrandomized treatment and control
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Review of the Research on Solution-Focused Therapy 239
elderly. Most of the studies (n = 6) had randomization to conditions. Five of the
studies compared solution-focused therapy to a no-treatment control group.
The other half of studies had a comparison group in which at least some inter-
vention was delivered (i.e. usual prison services, medication, regular nursing
home services). Only two of the ten studies provided follow-up data.
Modalities of treatment varied across studies and included individual, cou-
ples, group and family, as well as telephone-administered sessions. The mar-
riage and family and social work fields were most often represented by
providers. Students delivered treatment in five studies, and all the studies in
social work, except for one, involved students. Session length for those who
reported this information averaged 4.7 sessions. Quality rating averaged 4.9.
See Table 3 for the effect sizes ranked from highest to lowest. Using Cohen’s
(1977) standard for evaluating effect sizes (0.2 small, 0.5 moderate and above
0.8 strong), two studies had strong effect sizes (Cockburn et al., 1997; Rhee et al.,
Table 3 Effect sizes (sorted by largest effect size first)
Measures (and whether
Effect sizes for
each measure
at post-test
effect at
effect at
Rhee et al. (2005) Beck Depression Inventory 1.957 3.027
(2) Beck Depression Visual Analogue
(3) Brief Symptom Inventory 5.344
(4) Satisfaction with Life Scale
Cockburn et al. (1997) Family crisis-oriented personal
evaluation scales
1.870 0.820
Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness
Scale-Self Report
Return to work (standardized) 3.203
Zimmerman et al.
Parenting Skills Inventory total score
Family Strength, total score
Springer et al. (2000) Hare Self-Esteem Scale
Lindforss and
Magnusson (1997)
Recidivism 0.388 0.388 0.776
Eakes et al. (1997) Family Environment Scale
Corcoran (2006) Connors Parent Rating Scale 0.255 0.178
Feelings, Attitudes and Behaviors
Scale for Children (standardized)
Littrell et al. (1995) Changes in students’ concerns 0.026 0.172 0.113
Goals attained 0.156
Intensity of students’ feelings
et al. (1999)
Modified version of Caretaker
Obstreperous-Behavior Rating
Assessment (non-standardized)
0.164 0.164
Zimmerman et al.
Dyadic Adjustment Scale, total
score (standardized)
1.070 1.070
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240 Jacqueline Corcoran and Vijayan Pillai
2005), three had moderate effect sizes (Lindforss and Magnusson, 1997 at
follow-up; Springer et al., 2000; Zimmerman et al., 1996) and one had a small
effect size (Eakes et al., 1997). The remaining four studies had negligible effect
sizes (less than 0.2) according to Cohen’s (1977) criteria. However, according
to Lipsey (1998), an effect size of about 0.2 has practical significance in inter-
vention research. Five of the ten studies had effect sizes above this mark.
Discussion and implications for social work practice
and research
The most striking finding is that very little research has still been conducted on
solution-focused therapy. That only ten studies met the basic criteria of having
two groups with which to compare treatment response is remarkably low.
When examining the relationship between study features and effect sizes, it
was noted that the two highest average effect sizes were represented by studies
in which there was randomization to treatment and no-treatment conditions.
However, in the meta-analysis literature, it is usually well controlled studies
(i.e. randomization) that are associated with lower effect sizes. Additionally,
the top four highest effect sizes were from studies in which solution-focused
therapy was compared to a no-treatment control condition. This seems logical,
as intervention would be assumed to perform better than no intervention at all.
Other than this aspect, there was no consistency between the types of studies
that rated high versus low effect sizes.
The solution-focused research is difficult to synthesize because of the different
populations and problem areas that were examined. However, out of the ten stud-
ies examined here, four rated a moderate to high effect size and, in psychotherapy
outcome, even a small effect size might show an important result (Lipsey, 1998).
Therefore, about 50 per cent of the studies can be viewed as showing improve-
ment over alternative conditions or no-treatment control. It must be noted that
we included only published studied in our review; hence, these findings are con-
strained by the well known effects of publication bias, namely the tendency of
studies reporting null effects to be rejected for publication.
Aside from the compatibilities between social work and solution-focused
therapy, solution-focused therapy represents a cost-effective method because
of its short duration of services. Examining the research conducted by social
workers, a study with one of the highest effect sizes (Rhee et al., 2005) was
represented, but also some of the lowest effect sizes were within this group
(Corcoran, 2006; Ingersoll-Dayton et al., 1999). In future studies, it may be
important for social work professionals well versed in solution-focused
therapy to administer treatment and have their services evaluated, rather
than only students.
Overall, this study indicates that the effects of solution-focused therapy
are equivocal and more rigorously designed research needs to establish its
effectiveness. Therefore, practitioners should understand there is not a strong
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Review of the Research on Solution-Focused Therapy 241
evidence basis for solution-focused therapy at this point in time. As more
research is conducted with certain populations and outcomes (e.g. behaviour
problems with children), researchers will be able to combine results from stud-
ies using meta-analytic methods, providing more clarity about the strength of
solution-focused therapy in particular areas.
Other research recommendations involve the need for researchers to provide
basic information in studies (i.e. the background of treatment providers and the
number of sessions). As much as possible, randomization to treatment conditions
should be the standard. Future research should also ensure that follow-up data
are collected, so more can be known about the effects of treatment over time.
Accepted: July 2007
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Berg, I. K. and Kelly, S. (2000) Building Solutions in Child Protection, New York, Norton.
Cockburn, J., Thomas, F. and Cockburn, O. (1997) ‘Solution-focused therapy and psy-
chosocial adjustment to orthopedic rehabilitation in a work hardening program’,
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Cohen, J. (1977) Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Science, New York,
Academic Press.
Corcoran, J. (1999) ‘Solution-focused interviewing with child protective services clients’,
Child Welfare, 78, pp. 461–479.
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Research, 33, pp. 69–82.
Corcoran, J. and Franklin, C. (1998) ‘A solution-focused approach to physical abuse’,
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CA, Brooks/Cole.
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... In addition to exploring previous solutions to the patient's problem, ST explores behaviors that create exceptions to the problem and, through a series of interventions, encourages patients to perform more of these behaviors. ST posits that each individual has the necessary resources to resolve the problem (17). This therapy has been found effective in reducing depression and perceived stress among patients with breast cancer (18). ...
... After stroke, ST can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and increase constructive attitudes and self-efficacy. More generally, depressive and anxiety disorders are improved by ST, and ST is an effective treatment for psychosocial difficulties (17). ...
Eye movements and alternating stimuli for brain integration (MOSAIC) is a promising but untested new therapy. Its four-step protocol is based on the effects of bilateral alternating stimulation (BAS) (as in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy) on the brain. This solution-oriented therapy promotes experiencing solutions through bodily sensations. Through BAS and bodily sensations, MOSAIC therapy aims to enrich the traumatic memory neuronal network with new information so that the client's psychological trauma is no longer distressing. Thus, MOSAIC can be used to treat psychological trauma without the pain associated with reliving the traumatic situation. This method may be particularly adaptive for patients who have experienced complex trauma and who have dissociative experiences.
... The term "discursive" refers to what individuals say and how they say it in interactions with each other. In particular, brief discursive therapies including Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT; Corcoran & Pillai, 2007;McMartin, 2008) and Motivational Interviewing (MI; Lewis & Osborn, 2004;Miller & Rollnick, 2013) show promise for clients engaging in therapeutic efforts to address gambling concerns (Diskin & Hodgins, 2009). Discursive therapists share skepticism of single, objective truths and pay particular attention to the use of language in therapy as constitutive of clients' identities (Sutherland, 2007). ...
... As van Wormer and Davis (2012) There is a lack of empirically controlled studies on SFBT, and the bulk of existing research consists of case studies and theoretical application (Trepper, Dolan, McCollum, & Nelson, 2006). The few existing literature reviews on treatment outcome studies of SFBT have supported effectiveness (Corcoran & Pillai, 2007;Kim, 2008;Wehr, 2010). The SFBT model has been applied to a broad array of mental health and addiction concerns, such as substance dependence and abuse (deJong & Berg, 2013). ...
Full-text available
For the purpose of this study, I examine how a client’s identity and the impact of stigma play out within therapeutic conversations involving problem gamblers. Stigma is a mark, flaw or attitude reflecting societal disapproval of a personal or physical characteristic that is viewed as socially unacceptable (Blaine, 2000). As former U.S. President Bill Clinton stated in an Oval Office radio address, “mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all” (1999). At the beginning of my research there were no studies highlighting the acceptance, resistance, or moral management of stigma as it happens in therapeutic conversations, although such an in-depth inquiry of the plight of the problem gambler in therapy is of substantial contemporary importance. I hope that this research will shed light on how shame and stigma operate in therapeutic conversations, as these experiences may prevent clients from both accessing and receiving quality therapy1 in their times of need.
... The effectiveness SFBT has been supported by a number of systematic reviews (Bond et al., 2013;Corcoran & Pillai, 2009;Gingerich & Eisengart, 2000;Gingerich & Peterson, 2013;Liu et al., 2015;Suitt et al., 2016;Woods, 2015) and meta-analyses (Carr et al., 2017;Franklin et al., 2020;Gong & Hsu, 2015, 2016Hsu et al., 2021;Huoliang & Weisu, 2015;Kim, 2008;Kim et al., 2015Kim et al., , 2017Park, 2014;Schmit et al., 2016;Stams et al., 2006;Zhang et al., 2018), but the sample of outcomes studies on which each of these reviews and meta-analyses are based is typically small, ranging from six (Suitt et al., 2016) to 50 (Franklin et al., 2020), with an average of 24 studies for meta-analyses and 21 for systematic revisions. This is in part due to the stringent inclusion requirements of meta-analytic procedures, that leave out many available studies, but also to the fact that meta-analyses address specific research questions. ...
... Motivational interviewing and solution focused interviewing techniques may be useful as part of a shared decision-making process and should be explored further as a way to achieve more client participation in decision-making. Motivational interviewing and solution focused interviewing techniques seem to be effective for families with parenting problems (Antle et al., 2012;Connell et al., 2007;Corcoran & Pillai, 2009;Dishion et al., 2003Dishion et al., , 2008Gingerich & Eisengart, 2000;Kim, 2008;Stams, Deković, Buist, & de Vries, 2006). Possible positive results may be reached with motivational interviewing in maltreating families. ...
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This dissertation aims to gain insight into the factors which influence the decision-making of professionals in child welfare and child protection and which could improve decision-making in cases of suspected or actual child maltreatment. Therefore, research was conducted on: 1) the effects of structured decision-making on the systematicity, transparency and inter-rater reliability of judgments and decisions; 2) the effects of the use of a risk assessment instrument on the inter-rater reliability and predictive validity of risk judgments; 3) the influence of reasoning of decision-makers on intervention recommendations, in addition to the influence of risk assessments, attitude and work experience of the decision-maker. Child maltreatment is a severe problem with long-term consequences for the children involved. It requires timely recognition and effective interventions, which are not easy for professionals. Previous research has repeatedly showed that professionals often disagree on judgments and decisions in child maltreatment cases, and have difficulty assessing the problems effectively and deciding on appropriate care. Literature review Chapter 2a presents a literature review of studies focused on methods which could support and optimize the decision-making process. It seems that only a few studies have been performed on the effectiveness of these methods. Four types appeared in the review: 1) methods for structured decision-making, 2) risk assessment instruments, 3) methods for shared decision-making with parents and children, and 4) methods for decision-making within the social network of families (family group conferencing). The review shows that structured decision-making contributes to a child-centred and integral assessment in which professionals also take into account family and environmental factors. The use of risk assessment instruments seems to lead to valid judgments of the risk of the (re)occurrence of child maltreatment to a limited extent. Shared decision-making may possibly improve parent and child participation and the quality of decisions made by including their preferences in the decision-making process; however, there is only little evidence available on child welfare outcomes. Finally, the review shows that family group conferences can lead to increased participation of parents and children in decision-making, but child safety is not effectively guaranteed with this method. Van der Put, Assink and Stams (2016) commented on our review in Child Abuse and Neglect, in which they particularly discussed the conclusions on the value of risk assessment instruments. Chapter 2b presents our published response on this commentary. Effects of structured decision-making A structured decision-making method, called ORBA, was then investigated. ORBA15 aims to structure decision-making and make it explicit by discerning the core phases of the decisionmaking process and describing for each phase which information professional working for Advice and Reporting Centres of Child Abuse and Neglect (ARCCAN) need to make judgments and decisions. 15 ORBA is the Dutch acronym for Onderzoek, Risicotaxatie en Besluitvorming AMKs (in English: Investigation, Risk Assessment and Decision-Making by ARCCANs). Chapter 3 presents the effects of the ORBA structured decision-making method on the systematicity and transparency of decisions made by professionals before and after the introduction of ORBA. The central question of this study was to what extent ARCCAN case files contain relevant information, process steps and decision rationales. This study compared 60 case files from the period before the implementation of ORBA (in 2006), with 100 case files from the period since the implementation of ORBA (in 2010). We discovered that the case files since ORBA implementation contained more relevant information and process steps than before. However, rationales for judgments and decisions were still often lacking. Chapter 4 presents the effects of ORBA on the inter-rater reliability of judgments and decisions by ARCCAN professionals. This study examined the extent to which inter-rater reliability improves when ORBA is used. Forty ORBA-trained professionals and forty untrained professionals were asked to make judgments and decisions on several vignettes (in particular, to decide whether a case needed to be investigated and to decide on interventions after the ARCCAN investigation). The inter-rater agreement was determined using intra-class correlation coefficients. Both ORBAtrained and untrained professionals turned out to agree in their judgments and decisions to a limited extent. The judgments and decisions of ORBA-trained professionals did not correspond more often, compared to the judgments and decisions of untrained professionals. We conclude that ORBA did not convincingly lead to more uniform decision-making. Effects of a risk assessment instrument The risk assessment instrument we investigated was the LIRIK. The LIRIK16 aims to support child welfare and child protection workers in making safety and risk assessments through the structured evaluation of the relevant signals and risk and protective factors of child maltreatment. Originally, the LIRIK was developed for the Regional Child Protection Service Agencies and ARCCANs, but in the meantime an increasing number of organizations have come to use the LIRIK, such as child welfare agencies, local teams and public child healthcare. Chapter 5 presents the inter-rater reliability and predictive validity of the LIRIK in relation to unstructured safety and risk judgments. Inter-rater reliability was investigated in a vignette study; the predictive validity was investigated in a prospective study. Both studies compared professionals using the LIRIK to professionals not using an instrument. In the vignette study, professionals using (n=43) and professionals not using the LIRIK (n=36) assessed twelve vignettes on safety and risks. The results showed that agreement was low, that the differences between the groups were small, and that the LIRIK group did not agree more often on the safety and risk assessments. In the prospective study, the safety and risk assessments of professionals using and not using the LIRIK were compared to the outcomes in client files after six months. A total of 370 case files were analysed – 278 with the LIRIK and 92 without – for the presence of signs of real danger. The predictive validity of safety and risk judgments in both groups was low. The number of unsafe outcomes did not increase with increasing danger or risk assessed six months previously for either group. We conclude that safety and risk assessments made with the LIRIK were not more reliable or valid than assessments without the use of this instrument. Influence of reasoning on intervention recommendations The limited effects of the ORBA method and the LIRIK led us to enquire into what other factors might play a part in decision-making. Therefore, we focused on the characteristics of the decisionmakers in child welfare and child protection. Chapter 6 reports on a study of the rationales presented by students and professionals regarding their recommendations for whether a child should be placed into care or not, in a case of suspected child maltreatment. The study investigates the decision-making in greater depth to gain a better understanding of which decision-maker factors influence the decision-making process, in particular his/her reasoning process and attitudes towards out-of-home placement. We assume that the rationales decision-makers provide for intervention recommendations link their personal characteristics to their situational assessments and decisions. This study’s main question was to what extent and how arguments, in addition to the decision-maker’s attitudes towards out-of-home placement and work experience, influence a decision to place a child into care. Professionals working for child welfare agencies (n=214) and students (n=381) assessed a vignette and decided whether the child needed to be placed into care, and then explained their rationales for their recommendations. In addition, they completed a questionnaire on their attitudes towards out-of-home placement. Professionals and students mentioned a large number of arguments for their intervention recommendation. Their attitudes and several arguments appeared to be strong predictors for a placement decision, while work experience did not influence the decision made. It appeared that professionals and students showed some ‘bias’ in their decisions, given the influence of personal attitudes and varying approaches to reasoning they adopted: participants who recommended out-of-home placement had more positive attitudes towards placement and emphasized the nature and severity of the problems more strongly in their rationales than participants who recommended that the children should stay at home. General discussion Chapter 7 presents the general conclusions and discussion of the results of this dissertation. We found that the effects of the ORBA structured decision-making method and the LIRIK risk assessment instrument are limited. Though they support professionals in considering relevant case factors, the use did not increase inter-rater reliability and validity of judgments in child maltreatment cases. Furthermore, we found that the reasoning and attitudes of professionals influenced decision-making substantially. This finding provides a potential explanation for the limited effects of the use of ORBA and the LIRIK. As a recommendation, we present some options how decision-making could be further improved, namely by using ‘critical thinking’ (i.e. hypothesis testing, thinking of alternative explanations, generating counterarguments for the decision made, and generating arguments and counterarguments for alternative decisions), by applying structured team decision-making, and by shared decision-making with parents and children.
... Report in regard to about 50 percent of the studies reviewed showed improvement over alternative conditions or no-treatment control. Three randomized control studies were also located pertaining to the effectiveness of SFBT (Corcoran & Pillai, 2009).This study review correlates with the findings because the experimental groups (Kiandutu and Gachagi respondents) showed reduction of PTSD symptoms against the control groups (Umoja and Kiganjo respondents). Other models of treatment have been used in the reduction of trauma signs and symptoms. ...
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is a paradigm shift from the traditional psychotherapy which is practised more by counsellors and social workers. Formal training of this therapy is observed across countries. The objective of the study was to assess SFT knowledge and its practice among mental health professionals in India post their educational degree. A descriptive cross-sectional design was used. Convenience sampling was used with an online survey mailed to 100 known professionals from July to September, 2018. The sample comprised of practicing Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatric Social Workers who held a minimum qualification of the superspecialty degree MPhil (Master of Philosophy) in their respective fields. Analysis was done both qualitatively and quantitatively. Descriptive statistics found that only 5.55% of Clinical Psychologists and 22.22% of Psychiatric Social Workers used it as a sole therapy. About 72.2% of the mental health professionals felt that Solution Focused Therapy should be incorporated in the traditional specialized training program. The two themes obtained from thematic content analysis were the understanding and the efficacy of this form of therapy. The awareness and practice of Solution Focused Therapy among mental health professional appears low. Despite awareness of SFTs’ principles and techniques, it was not the first choice of therapy for mental health professionals
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Using evidence from research with practitioners, integrated with wider material about virtue ethics in the helping professions, this book explores important types of virtue that are central to developing and sustaining excellence in social work. Comprised of ten chapters and drawing on extensive research with social workers as well as wider debates and analysis, the discussion carefully concentrates on everyday experiences and achievements. This approach enables the book to avoid an idealized and prescriptive approach by making clear that virtues vary between contexts and individuals, while at the same time clearly marking out qualities and characteristics of social work that are foundational to the development of practitioners and of the profession as a whole. It will be required reading for students on all BSc/BSW and MSc/MSW courses on professional ethics or preparation for practice. It will also be of interest to practitioners in other professions, including human services, health, education and social development or development studies.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of problem-solving based family therapy on the emotional intimacy and marital quality of cultural couples in Tabriz. The research method was quasi-experimental by designing the pretest and post-test with the experimental group. The statistical population of this research consisted of all cultural couples with marital problems referring to counseling centers of Tabriz Education in 2019. The research sample based on The Cochran formula consisted of 32 couples that were selected by purposeful sampling and were randomly assigned into two experimental and control groups. The experimental group was exposed to 10 sessions of problem-solving based family therapy and the control group received no interventions. The research tool was the Marital Quality Index and the Intimacy Questionnaire, which was completed by both groups at the beginning and end of the intervention. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS software and inferential statistics of covariance analysis were also investigated. The results of covariance analysis showed that problem-solving based family therapy had a significant impact on the emotional intimacy and marital quality of cultural couples. Therefore, problem-solving based family therapy can be used as a treatment in couples with marital problems.
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A clinical research project tested the efficacy of a Solution-Focused Approach for addressing problem behaviors of nursing home residents with dementia. A total of 84 family members and nurses aides participated in a controlled study of 21 residents who were aggressive and/or wandered. A repeated measures analysis of variance indicated: (1) family members perceived behaviors as less problematic than did nurses aides; and (2) family members and nurses aides perceived diminished problems in behaviors over time. Based on these findings, suggestions are offered for both practice and future research.
Conference Paper
A clinical research project tested the efficacy of a Solution-Focused Approach for addressing problem behaviors of nursing home residents with dementia. A total of 84 family members and nurses aides participated in a controlled study of 21 residents who were aggressive and/or wandered. A repeated measures analysis of variance indicated: (1) family members perceived behaviors as less problematic than did nurses aides; and (2) family members and nurses aides perceived diminished problems in behaviors over time. Based on these findings, suggestions are offered for both practice and future research.
Orthopedic rehabilitation programs utilizing a multidisciplinary approach invite a greater appreciation for the factors which influence the recovery process. This study evaluated variables associated with the psychosocial adjustment of work hardening program participants when exposed to Solution-Focused psychotherapy. Orthopedic patients receiving workers' compensation were engaged in a work hardening program in which they received either Solution-Focused therapy or the standard rehabilitation protocol. Patients and spouses completed questionnaires designed to evaluate psychosocial coping and adjustment to a medical condition. Patients across all investigated orthopedic categories demonstrated enhanced adjustment to their condition when treatment groups were compared with control groups. It is proposed that Solution-Focused therapy, in conjunction with work hardening protocols, is effective for patients when developing effective coping responses to the stressors associated with orthopedic rehabilitation.
Discusses the use of a solution-focused approach by child welfare workers to interviewing children and families in crisis and risk situations. Notes that this practice accepts a systemic view, acknowledging the importance of context on people and their problems; holds a belief in client self-determination; and indicates respect for individuals. (LBT)
Behavior problems are the most common reason that children and adolescents are referred to treatment. This study presents a rationale for the application of solution-focused therapy to behavior problems and tests this assumption. Children who were referred from the school setting for behavior problems (N = 239) were treated with either solution-focused therapy or “treatment-as-usual” at a school of social work-sponsored mental health clinic. Hypotheses for this quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design were that treatment engagement would be higher in the solution-focused therapy group and that the solution-focused therapy group children over the “treatment-as-usual” group would show greater improvement according to both parent and child reports. Logistic regression and MANOVA were the data analysis procedures to test hypotheses. Findings were as follows; the solution-focused therapy group had better treatment engagement, but there were no statistically significant differences between groups on perceptions of child behaviors from either parents (Conners Parent Rating Scale) or child reports (Feelings, Attitudes, and Behaviors Scale for Children). An examination of pre-and posttest differences over time for each group indicated similar improvements in treatment according to parent reports. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
Counseling designed to be time-limited is a valuable tool for counselors in school settings. Three approaches to brief counseling were investigated in this naturalistic study: problem-focused with task, problem-focused without task, and solution-focused with task. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to explore aspects of single-session brief counseling. 61 high school students made significant changes from the 2nd- to the 6th-wk follow-up in alleviating their concerns and increasing the percentage of goal achieved. Students dramatically decreased the intensity of undesired feelings from before the counseling session through the 2nd follow-up. Solution-focused counseling was as effective as the other 2 approaches, while taking less time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)