Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Brief Strategic Couple Therapy

  • Michael J. RohrbaughEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_157

Name of Model

Brief Strategic Couple Therapy.

Synonyms

Brief problem-focused therapy; Brief Therapy Center; MRI model; Palo Alto group; Palo Alto model

Introduction

As described here, brief strategic couple therapy is an extension of the “brief problem-focused therapy”* developed over 40 years ago by Richard Fisch, John Weakland, Paul Watzlawick, and their colleagues at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, CA (Weakland et al. 1974; Watzlawick et al. 1974; Fisch et al. 1982). The hallmark of this approach is conceptual and technical parsimony: Therapy aims to resolve the presenting complaint as quickly and efficiently as possible by interrupting ironic processes, which in couples take the form of interaction cycles centered on well-intentioned but persistently applied “solutions” that keep problems going or make them worse. The approach is “strategic” because the therapist intervenes to interrupt ironic processes deliberately, on the basis of a case specific plan that...

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References

  1. Fisch, R., & Schlanger, K. (1999). Brief therapy with intimidating cases: Changing the unchangeable. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
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  9. Watzlawick, P., & Weakland, J. H. (Eds.). (1978). The interactional view. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Corinne Datchi
    • 1
  • Ryan M. Earl
    • 2
  1. 1.Seton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA