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.