An empirical investigation of the usefulness of solution talk in solution -focused therapy

2005 2005

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Counseling has been referred to as the linguistic exchanges between therapists and clients (Murphy, 1997). The types of conversations therapists hold with clients influence the way they respond to their problems. Not much empirical research has been done on the importance of language - solution talk in solution-focused therapy (SFT) to promote change. De Shazer (1993), one of the major proponents of SFT, suggested that the types of conversations therapists conduct influence the way clients respond to their problems. After examining literature on SFT, two areas seemed to be ignored - the usefulness of language in promoting change in clients' conditions and therapy process. In view of these considerable gaps in literature, this study examined three elements: (1) to compare the amount of clients' solution talk during baseline and treatment phases, (2) to determine if an increase in clients' solution talk was related to a decrease in self-reported client symptoms, and (3) to investigate a relationship between therapist and clients' solution talk. Three families recruited for the study. They completed the Home Situations Questionnaire, the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2, the Behavior Assessment System for Children, and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales and received six sessions of SFT. Data was analyzed both by visual inspection and some statistical analysis. Results indicated tremendous differences in levels of clients' solution talk between baseline and treatment phases. The overall findings did not support Hypothesis 2. Results of Hypothesis 3 showed similar increments in therapist's and clients' solution talk. These, results may substantiate the literature on the importance of clients' involvement/participation in resolving their problems and support the notion that clients are the experts regarding their own lives. Clients also identified the many resources available for them. In these three instances, the language clients used to express their ideas was crucial. In sum, results provided support to the proposition that language shapes and moulds the perception of reality and that both the therapist and clients co-construct solutions to clients' problems.

Indexing (details)

Educational psychology;
Academic guidance counseling;
Social psychology
0525: Educational psychology
0519: Academic guidance counseling
0622: Psychotherapy
0451: Social psychology
Identifier / keyword
Education; Psychology; Brief therapy; Solution-focused therapy; Talk
An empirical investigation of the usefulness of solution talk in solution -focused therapy
Bonsi, Epiphania E.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542387913, 0542387913
Scheel, Michael J.
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University location
United States -- Nebraska
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.