The construction of treatment protocols
The definition of brief strategic therapy developed by the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto was the starting point for the authors' research, which eventually led to the construction of specific treatment protocols for different forms of mental problems, such as phobic-obsessive and eating disorders. The Palo Alto model of brief therapy was essentially based on focused interventions aimed at breaking the redundant interactive sequence between patients’ attempted solutions and the persistence of their problems. This chapter begins by studying a limited number of cases, using systematic and rigorous empirical experiments to determine which interventions were effective and which redundant attempted solutions were being stopped. The authors initially applied the techniques they had available, some drawn from writings on those specific problems and others derived from the treatment of disorders that appeared to be similar, such as obsessions and phobias. This was the first phase of the construction of their treatment protocols.