Adhering to Best Practice Standards




Books in Brief Intro


Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

                 Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness



Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control: A love Based Approach to helping Attachment-Challenged Children with Severe Behaviors

by Heather T. Forbes and B.Bryan Post









Books in Brief

BTID is happy to announce the start of a new service for its clients and associates.  It’s called Books in Brief. We will be highlighting a new book each month on various topics related to health and mental health wellness. We will be sharing with you what we found valuable in the book and combine those ideas with the ideas within Brief Therapy so that you can begin to apply and incorporate the information into your life and practice immediately. It’s one thing to read a book. It’s another to read it from the point of view of a brief therapist.

 So, to get you started, let’s take a moment and help you understand how solution-focused brief therapists think. We will be using these ideas as we review the books throughout the year. It’s our hope to help you start using the ideas within brief therapy and begin to see the world through different eyes. One of the best resources out there on Solution-Focused Therapy comes from Bill O’Hanlon. He wrote a book called Do One Thing Different. It’s a standard in the Brief Therapy world. In the book he talks about using “solution keys” to help solve problems. Just from the chapter titles alone, you can begin to get the gist of what it takes to begin thinking differently about your problems, your relationships ways to resolve unfinished business and how to prevent future problems. Examples include: Changing Patterns, Doing What Works, Possibility, Shifting Attention, Using the Future to Solve Problems, Changing Problem Beliefs into Solution-Oriented Ideas.

 Solution-focused therapists might ask questions such as the following:

  • Suppose in the next month you begin functioning at your very best, what will you be doing differently? How will others know? What will they see, hear, feel that will be different?In regards to this situation you've described, what worked well? What would the others say they appreciated about you, in spite of the difficulties? How did you cope? Of what you did, what would you want to carry forward? What would you not want to repeat? How would you want to do it differently if this happened again? What have you learned from this episode?In terms of how successful you feel with the management of this situation, on a scale of 0-10 where 10 equals you at your very best, where are you now? What have you done so far to get to there? What needs to happen for you to go on progressing up the scale? What will you be doing differently at the next step up? How will you, (or significant others) be able to tell? Let's suppose you get to the next step up tomorrow. What's the smallest sign that will tell you that things are improving?
  • Of the thinking we've done here today, what has been helpful for you? What will you take away with you from this conversation? What would you like to see yourself doing differently between now and next time we meet?

How can this line of thinking be incorporated into reading? Our hope is to pull out information that creates the possibility of doing something different. The information can be incorporated into the future vision that you might have for yourself and help you stay focused on solutions as opposed to the problem. And/or it might help you reflect on what you are already doing, help you evaluate its effectiveness on the 1-10 scale and hopefully give you some ideas on how to feel more successful in that skill.

 For example, if you were reading a book on how to lose weight, a solution-focused thinker might read the material and ponder these ideas:

  • There are parts of my dieting that are more successful than others.I have learned when I have more energy for exercise, which increases my ability to get motivated to exercise. In turn I have also come to understand when I am more likely not to exercise and can learn what to do differently to ensure my success in this area.The information in the book helps me reinforce the picture I have of a more fit me.
  • I can begin to understand the patterns of my eating and see where I am more able to stick to better eating than other times when I am not as good at sticking to the plan.

You can see that if you go into reading a book with this mindset, the information might get integrated more quickly, because it is going to make more sense to your situation. This will become clearer as we begin this adventure with Books in Brief. We will challenge you to use the ideas in the book and incorporate them into your life as it makes sense to the vision you have of yourself and your life. We hope that you enjoy this series and we welcome your feedback.