Promoting Psychological and Problem Solving Interventions
Institute for advancement of clinical psychotherapy, communication, training
This paper aims at introducing some of the central aspects of the evolution that brief strategic therapy has undergone at the Centro di Terapia Strategica of Arezzo, Italy, towards advanced therapeutic strategies which differ from the original Palo Alto model. (Fisch, Weakland, & Segal, 1982; Watzlawick, 1978; Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson, 1967; Watzlawick, Weakland, & Fisch, 1974).
We will focus on how the concept of self-deception is central to the formation and the persistence of psychological disorders; and how the usage of non-ordinary logics and the understanding of the individual's perceptive-reactive system are of key importance in unravelling such disorders, allowing the therapist to guide the patient towards an efficacious and efficient solution.
Rather than attempting to describe and enlist the theoretical corpus that underlies brief strategic therapy, we have chosen to exemplify some focal concepts that connect theory to practice, and vice versa, by presenting the outline of some therapeutic protocols devised for solving eating disorders which can be specifically tailored for each individual patient.
Keywords: advanced brief strategic therapy; self-deception; non-ordinary logics; perceptive-reactive system; intervention protocol; attempted solution; eating disorders; efficacy and efficiency
This text presents a picture of contemporary family patterns that might produce problems of social and psychopathologic deviance in adolescents. It is the outcome of the teamwork of 32 researchers and therapists, members of the Centre of Strategic Therapy in Arezzo. This work was put together over a period of five years, where the research-intervention group met on a monthly basis under the author's personal supervision, to put together the data gathered from thousands of cases of disturbed adolescents with the aim of bettering the application of specific strategic interventions in parent-child problematics.
The purpose of this book is to point out clearly how some problems of contemporary adolescents can be triggered and how they can be prevented or solved. It is meant to be a training text for specialists, but it is also reader-friendly and can be appreciated both by parents and children so that both can come to avoid the traps hidden in relationships and their dysfunctional aspects. In other words, the aim is to correct the best intentions that produce the worst effects.
"The Evolution of Family Patterns" by Giorgio Nardone had a strong impact on me for its richness, creativity and originality. I believe that the message of freedom in thinking given by the author will be the same for most readers of this book, both professional and non-professional.
Dr Luigi Boscolo, Co-founder and Director of the Milan Systemic Family Therapy Centre
The Strategic Dialogue is a strategy by which one can achieve maximum results with minimum effort. It was developed through a natural evolutionary process from previous treatments for particular pathologies, and is composed of therapeutic stratagems and specific sequences of ad hoc maneuvers constructed for different types of problems.
This book represents both the starting and finishing line of all of the research, clinical practice, and managerial consulting performed by professors Giorgio Nardone and Paul Watzlawick over a fifteen year period at the Centro di Terapia Strategica of Arezzo (Strategic Therapy Center). It is the result of the combined efforts and contributions of not only the authors of this book, but also of other colleagues, collaborators, scholars and patients from all over the world, many of whom were often unaware of the help they provided.
This work can be referred to as the finishing line because the Strategic Dialogue, an advanced therapeutic method of conducting a therapy session and inducing radical changes rapidly in the patient, represents the culmination of all that has been achieved so far in the field. While reading through the full transcriptions of the cases presented, the reader will immerse oneself fully in Giorgio Nardone's style of work, to be fascinated by the articulate dialogue, carried out through the use of precise strategic plans that are adaptable both to the structure of the problem and also to the peculiar reality of the patient. Moreover the reader will be astonished to discover how, through the use of subtle communicative maneuvers and creative stratagems, patients are lead to rapid and effective therapeutic change.
This text is a must read, not only for therapists, but also for all those interested in the study of communication and its therapeutic effects who, while going through its pages, will uncover a sort of magical code.
Paul Watzlawick, from the Preface
Nardone and Salvini have written a ground-breaking and superb book which offers therapists a highly practical conversational framework for co- constructing change in the very first session with clients presenting with a wide range of serious and intractable difficulties.The brief therapy field has been in need of something fresh, innovative, and well- researched for some time and Nardone and Salvini have successfully provided that gift in their book "The Strategic Dialogue". If you wish to read about a cutting-edge method for conducting effective brief therapy with even the most challenging clients, this book is for you!
Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, Co-Director, Partners for Collaborative Solutions and author of "Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents"
Giorgio Nardone sets forth a liberating invitation to view every moment of a therapist's presence as an expression of influence. I applaud his recommendation for therapists to become more responsible and effective participants in the flow of therapeutic (that is, strategic) dialogue. The current state of psychotherapy needs this wake-up call!
Bradford Keeney, PhD, Clinical Director, Center for Children and Families, Monroe, Louisiana, Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco
Nardone and Salvini artfully describe essentials of brief psychotherapy in eminently practical terms. Their Strategic Dialogue has been proven in practice and research, and is applicable to a wide variety of clinical problems. The question is: will you utilize the strategic gems contained in this book intentionally, or will you discover in retrospect that you have used them because they are an elegant path to enduring change?
Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, Director of The Milton Erickson Foundation
Nardone offers the reader something precious and rare in the field of psychotherapy and personal change: explicit therapeutic goals that are carefully tailored to the dynamics of specific kinds of problems, and operationally-defined ways to reach those goals by reorienting the client's attention.
Steve Andreas, Trainer, Consultant and Developer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming
This groundbreaking volume concentrates on solution-oriented treatment of some of the most difficult pathologies - anorexia, bulimia and vomiting (as a separate category introduced by Nardone et al).
The logic and apparent simplicity of the way these complex conditions are treated is truly outstanding. As opposed to a long-drawn psychotherapy, Nardone and his colleagues offer a relatively short period of treatment, consisting of dialogue between the patient and the therapist, and sometimes the patient's family.
The patient is also given some "homework" to do in-between the sessions. Rather than looking at the "why" of the situation, this approach looks at "how" the problem manifests itself and what can be done about it.
The book starts by outlining the pathologies and the logic behind this type of brief therapy. It then moves on to examine particular case studies and the reader gets immersed in the fascinating dialogue between the therapist and the client.The approach recognises the different needs of each individual but offers some more general and useful practical advice to think about, and to be adapted to each case.There are clarifying comments and subheadings in-between the lines to point out to the reader what the therapist is trying to achieve at that point.
"In order to solve a problem, we need to understand how the system of perception and reaction towards reality functions in the person's here and now. In other words, we must try to understand how the problem functions, not why it exists. In that sense, we leave behind the search for knowledge based on 'why' for a search of knowledge based on 'how' - going from a search for the causes of a problem to a search for its modes of persistence. This allows the resolving process to evolve from slow, gradual solutions to rapid and effective interventions."
From the Introduction
This book is the result of fifteen years of clinical research from the Brief Strategic Center (Centro di Terapia Strategica) in Arezzo, Italy. It puts forth a simple yet comprehensive description of the epistemology and genealogy of Brief Strategic Therapy with importance is given to the first treatment session. It emphasizes the most evolved therapeutic interventions for each of the disorders studied, which include: anxiety and phobic disorders; depression; eating disorders; blocked-performance pathologies; child behavior problems; and more. The authors discuss the underlying logic of each disorder and its variants, the attempted solutions that maintain and worsen the problem and a step-by-step description of effective therapy.
This volume is a comprehensive, critical report of the different research approaches used in the study of psychotherapy. It is followed by a detailed account of the intervention used at numerous institutes and clinics around the world! that rely on the Advanced Brief Strategic Model. In summary, this volume presents what are now being practiced using Brief Strategic Therapy, as well as prospects for the future.
Logical, clear, and brilliant! This book is a must read for every therapist and student of therapy.
Cloe Madanes Director, The Robbins-Madanes Center, La Jolla, CA
Offers practical and effective ways of helping others without the toxic effects of medication and long-term economic entanglement.
Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., Distinguished Scholar of Cultural Studies, Ringing Rocks Foundation
This volume provides practical examples and easy-to-follow transcripts. This is a therapy of heart and hope.
Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD Director, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation
This book puts forward a complete picture of Brief Strategic Therapy while defining the theoretical and practical features that distinguish this method from other psychotherapies.
The authors present a comprehensive explanation of non-ordinary Mathematical Logic, which underlies brief strategic therapy techniques, to reveal how apparently simple techniques come to solve complex, seemly untreatable problems.
This book provides the reader with a detailed description of the techniques applied throughout the treatment, and also explains the strategies, tactics, and techniques employed in reframing people's perceptions, behavior and opinions.
This rigorous work is one of Nardone's most important and creative contributions to the evolution of Brief Therapy. It presents the advanced techniques set up for specific pathologies through long-term experimental-empirical research carried out at the Centro di Terapia Strategica of Arezzo, Italy. Case studies are introduced for a better understanding of this approach, followed by a thorough evaluation of the results obtained through on-going experimental-empirical research.
This book is about psychological disorders based on irrational fears - those apparently unmotivated, paralyzing, panic-filled, gut-wrenching fears whose multiplicity and diversity are barely contained in the diagnoses phobias and obsessional disorders.
The author, world-renowned therapist Giorgio Nardone, offers a brief (usually less than 20-session) treatment method that leads to a change in the interpersonal, cognitive, and emotional organizations underlying these painful and all-too-common problems. Therapists using a strategic framework focus on reframing patients' representations of self and other, and on changing the relational patterns that sustain fearful perceptions. Based on extensive research and illustrated with in-depth clinical examples, this book offers hope to those whose lives have been unnecessarily limited by their phobias and obsessions.
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