Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Brief Counseling

  • Kelvin F. MutterEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_200038

“Brief counseling” refers to a group of therapeutic practices and modalities that include solution-focused therapy (De Jong and Berg 2002; Walter and Peller 1992), narrative therapy (Freedman and Combs 1996; White 2007), single-session therapy (Slive and Bobele 2011; Talmon 1990), as well as models of brief pastoral counseling (e.g., Benner 2003; Childs 1990). While there are clear differences between these counseling approaches, these modalities have in common the fact that they are focused, collaborative, competency oriented, and time limited.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Solution-focused therapy (SFT), pioneered by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg, and their associates, targets the desired outcome of therapy (i.e., solution) rather than focusing on symptoms or issues (De Jong and Berg 2002). Walter and Peller ( 1992) identify 12 assumptions that guide the solution-focused approach:
  1. 1.

    Change is facilitated by focusing on the positive, the desired solution, and the future.

  2. 2.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McMaster Divinity CollegeHamiltonCanada