chapter  6
Establishing a Brief Therapy Focus
Pages 24

The treatment focus identifies what a therapist and client will work on in treatment. Almost all brief therapy authors and advo­ cates cite a narrow focus as the most important component of brief therapy, primarily because there is only enough time to deal with a single and narrow issue or two in a brief time frame. There are other important reasons why a narrow focus is an essential part of effec­ tive brief treatment, however. One of the critical contributions of the narrow focus is treatment efficiency: with all client and therapist attention directed at one target, very high levels of concentrated effort can be used. Each digression into alternative foci or treatment themes not only consumes the time required for discussion of the new theme, but it interrupts the momentum directed at the preced­ ing theme. Additional time is then required to review the old theme and “gear up” the direction of resources toward it when it is re­ turned to. Assessment is also far more efficient if only a single issue is assessed in depth.