Approaching Depression Through the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Approach Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy on Mothers with a Disabled Child

This research paper will focus on the ability of the author to effectively provide therapy services to individuals and adopt an enabling role, coaching the client in exploring his/her own way of solving the problems experienced, thereby using his own competence to the greatest extent possible. By using the Solution Focused Therapy approach and the author's own views on letting the client become the expert, promoting self-esteem, and most importantly creating change through various techniques and interventions, it will allow client to see through a new 'lens' of self.

This researcher selects Janet as a case study. She is 25 years old and lives in with her boyfriend with whom she has two son. The older son, James, has a disability in his clef foot. This incurable disability, her husband's abusive attitude and the natural inner struggles of a growing woman that Janet is in combination with an inherent lack of social support in her times of stress, led to the development of depression. Depression is much more common among women than men. And among women, depression is quite likely among young women, like Janet, who lacks sufficient support systems either at home or outside.

This researcher determined that the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy or SFBT would be the most appropriate therapy approach. It avoids all preconceived notions and viewpoints and puts the client at the center of the encounter. The methodology involves bringing out the buried pains, anger, guilt, despair and lack of self-esteem in the client. Eventually, the non-judgmental attitude of the researcher wins the trust of the client and begins to open up and express deeply buried thoughts and emotions, which she felt trapped her and caused her depression. The researcher and the client eventually developed a connection through which therapy became possible.


SFBT with Triangulation Methods

As Janet's therapist and, in pursuit of the mechanics of SFBT, I assisted her in confronting how she perceived her own condition, what things are important to her, the changes she desired for herself and her children, and the resources to seek as the solutions or means to bring about these changes. These changes or aspirations are the improvement or optimal correction of her youngest son James' physical disability, negative feelings and fixations on James' physical disability, gainful employment, the elimination of her drinking and drug use, complete control of her inherited tendency towards depression and aggression, sufficient and affordable care especially for James, and an overall stable family and personal life.

With these goals clearly set before us, I chose three data collection methods in search of the corresponding resources for the goals or changes in Janet's own life and environment. These methods are in-depth interviews or face-to-face encounters, memoing, and research.

The series of in-depth interviews began with and included hers and 10 other young mothers, not older than 28, single or married, with physically or mentally afflicted children; parents, siblings, or other children of such mothers.. Five of these 10 were gathered as a focus group and belonged to a higher education level. They were asked to write an essay on what they felt about caring for disabled children and how they dealt with their individual situation. The other five were asked to fill out a questionnaire on the details of their care, their personal viewpoints on their situation, their resources and their perspectives on these resources. The parents or siblings of such mothers had their own perspective and participation in the care, ether as members of the household or immediate family of the mothers.Then both groups were interviewed individually and confidentially in-depth about their answers. Their written and verbally recorded responses were collected, collated and tabulated without any comments or interpretations from me.

Memoing is a method, which includes observations or field notes. I attended or sat as observer or guest in orientation events and seminars of support groups made available to mothers, young and old, in compromised situations like Janet. One such support group or association offered day and night child care for both healthy and ill or disabled children. There were mothers attending these sit-ins and registered as recipients of the community child care in given centers and even homes. Their professional services are free but they accept donations of any kind. The locations, furnishings, food and drinks, clothing and funding are provided by non-government organizations and philanthropists. A pediatrician visits these centers or locations on a weekly basis to check on the children. I observed how the mothers and the professionals satisfactorily interact during meetings and even on a daily basis. Even the children interacted with one another wekk, I noted the requirements for registration and saw that this support group resource is just what Janet needs for James when she finds a job and needs to leave him.

Another support group I found offered livelihood or employment opportunities to young and old men and women who cannot take on regular office-based employment for special reasons. These opportunities include handicrafts, sewing, catering, dining services, mail deliveries, and part-time housekeeping. Those who finished high school may be employed as secretaries or clerks and receive a higher weekly salary than high school undergraduates. Janet is a high school graduate and can type and speak well enough. The group posts a list of vacancies and their requirements for those who register. Small offices, stores and even homes, which need workers o these or other types, advertise for these positions in this livelihood center for a small cash donation. The center acts only as a repository and referral of the vacancies. Those looking for jobs either visit the center, call or visit their website. I secured the most recent list of vacancies for Janet from the young receptionist at the center.

And the third method is research. I collected and reviewed journals, newspapers, brochures and other professional documents on depression and cleft food. These publications led me to a small group of healthcare professionals who provide free consultation and services to indigents or financially unstable persons. I secured an appointment with the president of the association who informed me that they offer medical, clinical and counseling services completely free at given schedules. Among them are a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a counselor, a physical therapist and a drug rehabilitation specialist. She informed me about new procedures that can significantly improve the chances of correcting cleft foot in children. Their counselor and psychiatrist have dealt with a string of depression cases quite successfully.


Janet was overjoyed to hear that James' physical disability now has greater chances of improving or even getting corrected and for free by seasoned professionals. It is her top priority and her eldest son Jimmy wants to join her when she consults with the healthcare group. He has recently been some help to Janet in the care of James. Jimmy was one of those in the focus group, which was asked to write the essays and interviewed in-depth.

Upon consultation with a trained pediatrician-surgeon from the volunteer healthcare group, James was found to have substantial chances of improvement. He was operated on in a hospital for children for free upon special arrangement by the healthcare group. His cleft foot was sufficiently corrected, but he will need some time to recover and get trained to walk normally. Treatment and further check-ups with the group would remain free after hospitalization.

From the hospital, James will be absorbed by the day-and-night care center where his pediatrician-surgeon made additional special arrangements for care. Janet and her family can visit him there until he completely recuperates. While recuperating, he may also decide to join kindergarten classes or simply sit in as an observer. James has long expressed the desire to learn and was always frustrated that he could not go to school like other children. Now, he has a chance to fulfill that dream, which is also Janet's.

While others are able to provide the physical care of James at the day-and-night care center, Janet is able to apply for a job at the livelihood center. She was first accepted as a computer encoder at a home office. She worked daily and comfortably at a homely environment. But her income was not sufficient. When a secretarial vacancy at a real office became available, she applied and was accepted. The salary was bigger and she could develop additional work skills from their trainings. Soon, she is able to achieve a basic level of financial capability, which she never before experienced. She carefully budgeted her salary for her home needs for her other children. She also learned to dress well for work.

One major change she achieved was freedom from alcohol and drugs through the help of the healthcare rehabilitation specialist and counselor. She attended a series of sessions with both professionals in the weekends. She belonged to a group of recovering alcohol and drug users and she found new strength in their company. The rehabilitation specialist was a real expert…

Sources Used in Document:


Bryman, A. (n.d.) Triangulation. Reference World. Retrieved on November 29, 2015 from

Cepeda, L. M. and Davenport, D. S. (2006). Person-centered therapy and solution-focused brief therapy: an integration of present and future awareness. Vol. 43 # 1,Psychotherapy: Pubmed.

Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from

Darlaston-Jones, D. (2007). Making connections: the relationship between epistemology and research methods. Vol 19 # 1, The Australian Community Psychology: University of Notre

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