Going to college is a significant milestone in the life of a family and ushers in a time of separation and transition, requiring an adjustment on the part of parents, the college student and the whole family. Many college students that go away to college, experience different emotions. Going away to college can be an exciting, yet scary experience. Jade is a 23 year old female experiencing her third year of university in a general arts degree. Jade is the oldest of three children in an intact family of 5. Jade family consists of her parents who have been married for 25 years and appears to be satisfied with their marriage. Both of her parents are employed and content with their employment. Jade has a 19 year old brother named Felix who is in his first year of the local university and a 13 year old sister who is currently in the seventh grade.
Jade voluntarily requested assistance reporting that she is confused, believes she is going crazy and cannot explain her current degree of dysfunction. Jade is currently staying 300 miles away from home. Also, while receiving assistance from her professor on an assignment, Jade begun to realize that she is expressing risky behaviors. During Jade’s adolescent years she felt as if her parents restricted her and had her on a short leash. Now that she is away from her parents she has started to enjoy the party scene, has begun drinking and has become sexually active with numerous members of her male peer group.
Solution- Focused Brief Treatment (SFBT) is a treatment that uses the client’s resources and knowledge to shift their perspective to create a rapid change in a brief period of time. This form of therapy and treatment is goal and solution oriented where the focus is on the client’s desired outcome instead of past or current issues. The aim of the professional in this model is to help the client question the self- defeating thoughts and attributes that they currently possess (Hepworth, Rooney, Dewberry- Rooney, Strom- Gottfried, and Larsen, 2010). SFBT is a diverse treatment that can be used with different age ranges and groups. In addition, SFBT can also be used in a wide variety of areas such as schools, mental health, marriages, families, rehab, nursing homes, and delinquency.
This form of treatment (SFBT) was first introduced by Steve de Shazer and Imsoo Kim Berg and their colleagues from the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theoretical framework for SFBT derives from the social constructivists theory that individuals use language to construct their actuality. It also incorporates the cognitive-behavioral theory that states how we think, feel, and act all interrelate together. In this model it assumes that solution behaviors are already present for each client/ individual based on their strengths and resources (Trepper, McCollum, De Jong, Korman, Gingerich, and Franklin, 2011)
The primary problem with Jade is that she is participating in risky behaviors, suffering from anxiety and depression and isolating herself from others. Jade has admitted that she was not truthful in her previous sessions. She has expressed that she feels depressed a great deal of the time and although Jade is getting by in her courses, she has others preparing her papers. Jade has been feeling high levels of anxiety which has caused her to miss class and make her unable to control her emotions. She has isolated herself from her peer group and has become estranged from her parents. Also, she’s making excuses to avoid having contact with her siblings. However, one of Jade’s strength is being able to acknowledge that she is dealing a problem and not being afraid to seek out help for this problem.
In the case of Jade there are a number of problems that are evident such as: Jade suffering from depression and anxiety, isolating herself from her family members and peers, participating in risky behaviors and having others prepare her assignments. Solution- focused Brief Treatment would be the best model to use with Jade because it uses the same method regardless of the problem the individual or family comes to therapy with.
Issues arising from the SFBT practice theory is that this models veers away from traditional therapy where the focus is to find the problem and explore how that problem came about whereas with SFBT, the objective is working toward the future by allowing the client to arrive to certain conclusions and solutions to their own problems. According to Simon and Berg (2002) the SFBT model focuses on “living life” instead of “speaking about life”; while other models believe the problem is within the individual’ SFBT views that the solutions arise from the individual’s social context.
(7)Describe your hypothetical plan of action with this client
As the social worker, the assessment process with the client will help me as the social worker build a rapport with the client and understand from her what she believe is the problem. It’s up to Jade to want and figure out a solution to her problem(s). SFBT will allow me to help the client focus on the present problem that she is dealing with by changing her negative thoughts into positive. SBT assists individuals in building on their strengths and using a time-limited approach. The key to this therapy is to help Jade create her own solution to her anxiety and depression by motivating her; helping her build her strength which will result into a positive change. SBFT is not meant to solve the problem, but rather help Jade explore exceptions to the issue.
The hypothetical plan of action is to have Jade describe the problem, help her identify a goal and exceptions to the problem. For example: “What is the problem?” and “What are the client’s goals and values?” Also, using scaling questions as a means to measure change and to identify small steps toward change. The goal of Solution Focused Therapy is to release the client’s unconscious resources, thereby shifting from a problem-oriented perspective to one that is more solution based (Nichols & Schwartz, 2004, p. 101). In Jade’s case, depression and anxiety is the issue at hand which is affecting her daily activity. As a social worker, my plan is to help Jade find her own way of solving her issue with depression and anxiety. In this regard, the approach integrates aspects of cognitive restructuring. As the social worker, I have a role to “help Jade to question self-defeating constructions” and then assisting her to construct “new and more productive perspectives” (Nichols & Schwartz, 2004, p. 101).
(8) Identify how this social work practice theory would support your plan of action
According to Habibi, M., Ghaderi, K., Abedini, S., et al(2016) solution focused therapy helps depressed clients by regarding their abilities and skills, to find the “solutions” and “exceptions.” This approach assumes that everything is changeable, and its concentration is on solutions and the power of language. “This method actually helps depressed clients shape their mental thought around the solutions and consider the solution-focused behaviors that enables them to reach their goals. Solution-focused treatment approach asserts that clients have a right to determine their desired outcomes; it is oriented toward the future rather than the past (Habibi, M., Ghaderi, K., Abedini, S., et al(2016)”. Change is believed to occur in a short time period, especially when people are empowered as experts and are encouraged to use their expertise to construct solutions. As the social worker, your role is to listen, absorb information that a person provides, and subsequently guide them toward solutions utilizing the “language of change” (De Jong & Berg, 2002, p. 49). Lee (2003) believes that these principles are motivating factors that strengthen the efficiency of the solution-focused approach in cross-cultural practice.
(9) Describe how you and the client would implement your plan
As a social worker, I will start to ask series of questions. The questions will help Jade determine what is important to her and will motivate her to work toward achieving it. I will began by asking Jade to write what her goal is that she wants to accomplish by the end of the therapy. The objective is to set goals in a positive, specific, and tangible for Jade. Jade will be asked to talk about her goals. Jade will be asked to talk about the problem that she is facing and the goal that she wants to set for herself. I will ask her to rank her problems from 0 to 10 and the solutions that might help the problem in a positive way. In addition, I will ask Jade, “If you wake up tomorrow free from depression, how will things be different?” The answer that the client gives me will help me determine the appropriate goals for her. I will also question Jade on those times in her life when the problem was not an issue or was less of a concern. These questions are followed by questions relating to what could happen that would decrease the concern and make exceptions possible. By the end of the session, I will compliment and reinforce Jade on what she has already done to solve the problem. Jade will be asked what she believes she should do more or less of in order to accomplish the goal. Monitoring Jade’s progress is ongoing and specific to evaluate Jade’s level of satisfaction in order for her to reach the solution. At the end of each session, Jade and the social will come up with homework for Jade to do.
(10) Identify any challenges this practice theory may present to you in the implementation phrase
One of the challenges that can occur in the implementation phase is helping the client set a goal within the short period of time that we have together. Solution focused therapy is only short-term; clear and attainable goals is extremely important in a successful outcome at the end of the session. If the client does not have a goal and or does not have a short-term goal then it will become a problem. In addition, having an involuntary client that is not willing to work with the social worker within the short period of time that we have can also be a challenge.
(11) Identify and define at least 3 of the major concept of this theory
The three major concept of Solution Focused Therapy is coping questions, miracle questions, and scaling question. Coping question which is also known as the exception question shows the individual resiliency and help the individual identify ways in which he/she can cope with his/her challenges. Miracle questions has the individual imagine in the future when the problem did not exist. The scaling questions uses a scale from 0-10 to assess present circumstances, progress, or how one is viewed by others. These kinds of questions are often used when there is insufficient time to explore the miracle question and they can help a therapist to gain insight into the hopefulness, motivation, and confidence of people in therapy.
(12) Provide your assessment of the effectiveness of this practice theory based on your literature
According to the literature, solution-focused therapy focus on people’s strengths and capacities, with the intent of empowering them to create solutions. Although clients may begin with a problem statement, a key belief of the approach is that the analysis of a problem does not necessarily predict a client’s ability to problem-solve (Corcoran, 2008). Furthermore, solutions and problems are not necessarily connected. Therefore, the thrust of your work with clients encourages solution talk rather than assessing how problems developed or are perpetuated (Koob, 2003; Nichols & Schwartz, 2004).