Compare and contrast Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy

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The current essay focuses on two different therapeutic techniques, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. The initial component of the essay outlines the therapeutic orientations of both approaches; then, the different approaches are related to a case study of a young lady called Linda who is seeking counseling due to feelings of hopelessness. The essay is then finished with some of the author’s personal opinions on the two therapeutic approaches.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

While Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been in development since the 1980’s, it has only recently risen to prominence and is sometimes described as a ‘new wave’ therapeutic technique. ACT is a
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SFBT holds that language and words are very important, and that helping clients talk about their lives in more useful language can lead to positive change. One of the major differences between SFBT and other psychotherapies is that while SFBT acknowledged that clients tend to come to therapy to talk about their problems, the SFBT will not encourage them to talk about their problems, but rather to talk about solutions (Rafter, Evans and Iveson, 2012).

One of the central assumptions of SFBT is that the client will choose the goals for therapy and that the client themselves have resources which they will use in making changes (Macdonald, 2011). The therapeutic conversation aims at restoring hope and self-esteem, while reducing anxiety to a point where people become able to think more widely and creatively about solutions. SFBT holds that high anxiety can restrict cognition and attention to the surrounding environment and that, by reducing anxiety, it would allow for wider thinking about possible approaches to problems, as well as mobilizing their existing strengths and resources to address their desired goals (Rafter et al, 2012).

Therapeutic relationship and goals


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