“Our second TTC Talks @1 session with Ellie Carn last week led to a lively discussion about the merits of short term therapy. Ellie is specifically experienced and trained in short-term therapy models and presented to a room full of therapists working mainly in open ended, longer term models.
Ellie Emphasised the following key factors of success for short term therapy:
Clarity and transparency, short term work must be treated as such from the outset. With a select focus in the work on the issues the client brings.
Focus in the work is essential to the success of the intervention, and may require a benign neglect of other issues not central to the work.
Other key factors include the necessity of identifying key themes, or goals, or needs, with immediacy and formulating these in to the focus of the work.
The idea of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) can be helpful in effective short-term work, for therapist and client.
As with any therapy a lot of the success of the work rests on a good formulation at the outset (the ability to make sense of a client’s story, link past with present and hone in on where the difficulties and hence the focus of the work lie) the strength of the therapeutic relationship/alliance – key for any corrective emotional experience, and lastly, and perhaps most importantly with short term work, a continuous awareness of the ending.
Perhaps too often therapists fall back on an assumption that long term therapy is the most successful premise for a corrective emotional experience but if done well, significant benefit can be attained in even 12 weeks. Providing the intervention is appropriate for the presenting problem.
Part of our Ethos at The Therapy Clinic is to make therapy accessible to as many people as possible, short-term approaches can lighten the financial burden of therapy and increase accessibility, as well as being an effective intervention in its own right. Our work now is to weave this thinking more solidly in to our offerings for clients and more explicitly assess at the outset for the appropriateness of short term work so watch this space!”
Next up in the series of TTC Talks @1 is Kate West‘s introduction to working with couples, in June 2019.