Process, Problems, and Solutions in Brief Therapy

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The MRI problem-solving and the recently popular solution-amplifying approaches to brief therapy are described as based upon the same process point of view. A process view is described in contrast to a structural view of human interactions. It is argued that an exclusive focus on amplifying perceived solutions without clearly defining problem patterns may become a problem. Clear articulation of a therapist's assumptions about human interaction, problems, and therapeutic solutions is strongly advocated. Creativity, flexibility, effectiveness, and efficiency are likely to be by-products of such clarity. Without it, our therapeutic zeal in searching for solutions is likely to become a problem. A Japanese coastal village was once threatened by a tidal wave, but the wave was sighted in advance, far out on the horizon, by a lone farmer in the rice fields on the hillside above the village. At once he set fire to the fields, and the villagers who came swarming up to save their crops were saved from the flood.



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