General Overview of Social Construction Therapies
Social construction theories are considered to be based on certain concepts such as special questions to be asked during individual and group counselling sessions and a strategy based on change process vision. In this respect, constructionist approach presupposes case conceptualisation and treatment goals that differ from merely gaining knowledge and counselling sessions.
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As Solution Focused Brief Therapy approach and the Postmodern Social Construction perspective are very similar, it is necessary to mention that one of the similarities concern the case conceptualisation used in both therapies.
As reported by Pichot & Dolan (2003), “understanding of solution-focused therapy would be best viewed as a journey rather than a destination” (Pichot & Dolan, 2003, p.5); this can be also applied to Postmodern Social Constructivism approach. In other words, both therapies are aimed at structuring of the process on the level of concepts of what is ‘good’ and what should be changed.
The main difference between Social Constructivism and Solution Focused Brief Therapy is that the former therapy uses identifies artefacts and their meaning whereas the latter defines a goal to achieve and outline the methods to use in the process of counselling. Actually, the Solution Focused Brief Therapy is almost based on the concepts invented within the Social Constructivism theory.
The main similarities of the two therapies mentioned above include the analysis of the current situation rather than analysis of some past events. Moreover, both therapies are aimed at consideration of the situation in a certain social context. Thus, both therapies implement some structuring of the process.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Postmodern Social Constructivism approach are goal-focused and are not concentrated on what can be referred to as problem analysis, problem statement. These therapies do not find out what is wrong but rather identify what should be in the end of the therapeutic session.
Schaffer (2006) suggests the main peculiar feature of Social Constructivism theory as the one that the approach is not based on mere knowledge but is put into certain environment with its consequences, setting, and context as a whole. In this respect, the Social Constructivism theory is focused more on identification of artefacts and their meaning regarding the social context and analysis of what is ‘wrong’ and should be eliminated.
On the other hand, the Solution Focused Brief Therapy does not analyse the wrong and the right. It is aimed at construction of the final result by means of identifying what to achieve and only then outlines the steps including what to keep and what to change.
Cases When Each Therapy Can Be Beneficial
Each therapy can be beneficial in cases of alcohol and drug addiction; these therapies are very much alike and can be helpful during counselling sessions when a patient is not analysed as the one who did something wrong and the reasons for that. The sessions should be constructed in accordance with the abovementioned therapies because a patient should reach a goal in the end.
Change Process and Rationale
I think that Solution Focused Brief Therapy most closely reflects my beliefs about the change process when a counsellor helps a patient to transit from the current situation to a desired condition. I think so because this therapy is mostly aimed at reaching the goal instead of analysing the past and concluding.
Pichot, T, & Dolan, Y. M. (2003). Solution-focused brief therapy: Its effective use in agency settings. London: Routledge
Schaffer, H. R. (2006). Key concepts in developmental psychology. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.