brief psychotherapy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


any of a number of related techniques for treating mental illness by psychologic methods. These techniques are similar in that they all rely mainly on establishing a relationship between the therapist and the patient as a means of developing the patient's insight into the motivation behind his or her behavior. On occasion, drugs may be used, but only in order to make this communication easier.
Forms of Psychotherapy. Perhaps the best known form of psychotherapy is psychoanalysis, the technique developed by Dr. Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis attempts, through free association and dream interpretation, to reveal and resolve the unconscious conflicts that are at the root of mental illness.

Closely related to psychoanalysis is analytically oriented therapy, or “brief therapy.” This uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis, but tends to concentrate on the patient's present-life difficulties rather than on the unconscious roots of these difficulties.

One widely used technique is group therapy. Six to ten patients meet regularly to discuss their problems under the guidance of a group therapist. Group therapy is based on the principle of transference—that is, a patient tends to react to others in terms of his childhood attitudes toward family members. During group therapy, he may react to one member of the group as a hated rival brother, and to another as a dominating mother. In the give-and-take of discussion, he will begin to recognize the distortions in these reactions, and to see similar distortions in his day-to-day relationships with other people. Group therapy may be combined with individual therapy. Group therapy can help reduce the cost to each patient. It is also widely used in mental health centers, where it has helped relieve the great shortage of trained therapists.

Adjunctive therapy, such as occupational therapy and music therapy, is helpful in relieving tensions and emotional problems that are associated with a feeling of uselessness. Psychodrama, in which patients act out fantasies or real-life situations, may provide a means of communication for patients who are not capable of expressing their problem by speech.

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy adapted to children. It is very difficult to induce an emotionally disturbed or even a normal child to talk about his problems. Play therapy provides an alternative. Children reveal themselves when they play with toys provided by the therapist and act out their fantasies. The therapist helps them “get things out of their system,” accepting them warmly as they are, and guiding them toward a solution to their problems. Since these are closely related to the way children are treated at home, play therapy is usually combined with some form of therapy for the parents. Family group therapy, in which the entire family meets regularly with the therapist, can be particularly effective.

Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that a person's feelings and behavior result from that person's perceptions of the world and that psychological disturbances result from faulty ways of thinking. The therapist is active in helping the patient to restructure his or her distorted perceptions, using a combination of verbal and behavior modification techniques.
brief psychotherapy psychotherapy limited to a preagreed number of sessions, generally 10 to 20, or termination date. It is usually active and directive, and often oriented toward a specific problem or symptom.
psychoanalytic psychotherapy psychoanalysis (def. 3).
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

brief psy·cho·ther·a·py

any form of psychotherapy or counseling designed to produce emotional or behavioral therapeutic change within a minimal amount of time (generally not more than 20 sessions). Brief therapy is usually active and directive; it is more clearly indicated when there are clearly defined symptoms or problems, and where the goals are limited and specific.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
~ Woman speaking about her experience at the Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women in Toronto
To reduce stress, anxiety, and anticipatory vomiting, consider brief psychotherapy, progressive muscle relaxation, systematic desensitization, or hypnosis.
In addition, the remaining three training categories identified involved areas important to understanding the nature and treatment of mental illnesses including psychopathology, substance abuse, psychopharmacology, neuropsychological assessment, and types of therapies typically utilized when treating this population including cognitive-behavioral interventions and brief psychotherapy. Importantly, knowledge of state mental health services was identified as the most important training need item, indicating the need for a better understanding of, and collaboration with, state mental health services.
Effects of therapist response modes in brief psychotherapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 35, 222-233.
The results of this study support the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy.
Recent research suggests that brief psychotherapy (talk therapies that help a person in day-to-day relationships or in learning to counter the distorted negative thinking that commonly accompanies depression) is effective in reducing symptoms in short-term depression in older persons who are medically ill.
The twenty-minute hour: a guide to brief psychotherapy for the physician.
Or if you suffer from a well-defined problem, such as anxiety about a new job, brief psychotherapy might be your best course.
The result of the authorEs 30 years of interest in Michael Balint (1896-1970), a major figure in the British Independent School of Psychoanalysis, Oppenheim-GluckmanEs book presents an overview of the main tenets of BalintEs work, providing a new perspective on his contribution and its importance for modern object-relations theory and practice, and brief psychotherapy. Five chapters are divided into two parts: Balint the psychoanalyst; applied psychoanalysis.
It is notable that there has been a steady growth of short term psychodynamic psychotherapy models which have proved to be effective, including mentalisation based treatment (Allen & Fonagy, 2006); time limited dynamic psychotherapy (Levenson, 2003); brief dynamic interpersonal therapy (Lemma, Target & Fonagy, 2010); brief dynamic psychotherapy (Binder, 2004); brief psychotherapy (Malan, 2001); intensive short term dynamic psychotherapy (Davenloo, 2001); and very brief dynamic psychotherapy (Aveline, 2001) to name a few.
This includes the work of the Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women in Toronto, and the work on "trauma-informed" models of care by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, as well as a first person account of Vancouver's Art Studios.

Full browser ?