EUROPEAN BRIEF THERAPY ASSOCIATION OUTCOME STUDY: RESEARCH DEFINITION
DESCRIPTION OF THE TREATMENT
Therapies included in the EBTA Outcome Study should be conducted following the therapy model as developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg (De Shazer, 1988, 1991, 1994; de Shazer and Berg, 1992).
During the sessions, therapists should focus on clients´ goals, exceptions, pretreatment changes and, in general, clients´ resources. They should do that by asking the Miracle Question, discussing exceptions and pretreatment changes, by using coping questions and scales. Therapists should do this using their clients´ language, and at the same time promote descriptions in specific, small, positive (presence of solutions rather that absence of problems; start of something new rather than stopping something) and interactional terms. Therapists should adopt a respectful, non-blaming and cooperative stance, working towards their clients´ goals from within their clients´ frame of reference.
After some 45 minutes of conversation with their clients, the therapist may take a break. After this break (or, if no break was taken, simply at the end of the sessions) the therapist should compliment the client(s) and is likely to give some suggestions, following the rules described in de Shazer, 1988. Closing the session, the therapist will consult with the client(s) on whether and when to schedule another session.
Therapies to be included in the sample of the EBTA Outcome Study should include all of or most of the features described above, but have to meet at least all of the following minimal requirements:
Second and following sessions
Therapists will have to adjust to the exact wording and (where applicable) timing of these elements, as described in the following sections of this treatment protocol. Therapies where one or more of these elements are missing in one or more of the session can not be included in the sample.
1. "The therapists asks and follows-up on the Miracle Question"
1.1. The Miracle Question has to be asked in the following way:
"I’d like to ask you a strange question…Suppose…that you go home tonight…and go to bed…and fall asleep as usual…and while you are sleeping, a miracle happens...and the miracle is that the problems that brought you in here are gone…and you don´t know because you are sleeping… What will you notice different tomorrow…that will tell you that there has been a miracle?"
1.2. Follow up questions serve the purpose of getting a description in specific, small, positive and interactional terms. They should focus on who will be doing what , where, when and with whom , and may be asked both from the clients´ or from somebody else´s perspective, for instance:
2. "The therapist asks and follows up on the Progress Scale"
2.1.The Progress Scale has to be asked in the following way:
"On a scale, where 10 stands for the day after the miracle and 0 stands for when the problems that brought you in were at their worst, where would you put yourself right now?
2.2. Follow up questions serve the purpose of getting a description in specific, small, positive and interactional terms. They should focus on who is or will be doing what , where, when and with whom , and may be asked both from the clients´ or from somebody else´s perspective.
3. "The therapist compliments the client(s) at the end of the session"
3.1. During the session the therapist may compliment the client(s) by making remarks using the client’s language and quoting their statements (eg goals, exceptions, resources) on what they have done, are doing, or plan to do that is helpful, positive or valuable.
3.2. Compliments should be given at the end of the session, within the last five minutes of the session.
They may be followed by homework assignments or suggestions.
4. "Return visits. The therapist asks `what is better?´ at the beginning of the session and follows up on it"
4.1. The therapist asks "what is better (since the last time you were here)?".
4.2. This question should be the opening of the session, and therefore should be asked within the first two minutes of the session.
4.3. Follow up questions serve the purpose of getting a description in specific, small, positive and interactional terms. They should focus on who has been doing what , where, when and with whom , and might be asked both from the clients´ or from somebody else´s perspective, for instance:
4.4 Ask and follow up on Progress Scale questions (as paragraph 2).
4.5 The therapist compliments the client(s) in relation to this session (as paragraph 3).
Mark Beyebach (Salamanca) for Bruges Research Group. 26 May 2000. MARK firstname.lastname@example.org