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Brief therapy seems to be all the rage today. In most countries, third party payers, government health bodies, and service provider agencies are increasingly demanding “cost-benefit” or “cost-effectiveness” support for all outpatient psychotherapy. Employers supporting employee assistance programs, to help workers through life difficulties, are equally interested in the most time-effective interventions to retain valued employees and restore their productivity. In truth, it is the rare client who wouldn’t choose a treatment promising the quickest resolution to their distress. Yet, what is brief therapy, and is the pressure to practice it causing more problems for practitioners than the approach promises to fix? Are there any central factors to guide us in this pressure-toproduce environment?


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