chapter  4
A Model for Conceptualizing the Treatment Abbreviation Process
Pages 10

Most approaches to doing brief therapy are not simple adaptations of a long-term therapy to a briefer format. Quite the contrary-al­ though many have a theoretical allegiance with one of the standard therapies, most are complex undertakings that provide a unique theory of psychopathology and therapeutic change processes along with a novel set of associated treatment techniques, all of which are conducive to brief treatment. In the process, most also rely on general abbreviating strategies that are independent of any particu­ lar theoretical orientation or treatment technique, such as mainte­ nance of a narrow treatment focus and pursuit of modest treatment goals. Because these latter general abbreviating strategies are coor­ dinated with a particular author’s theory and technique, they are often not conceived nor portrayed as general strategies; they are expressed in the idiosyncratic language of a particular approach. It is only after reviewing a number of different approaches to brief therapy that one can identify that some abbreviating strategies are common even though they are often portrayed in differing theoreti­ cal language.