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January 2022

Prevention, solution-focused therapy, and the illusion of mental disorders

Journal/Book: Appl Prev Psychol. 1996; 5: 40 West 20TH Street, New York, NY 10011-4211. Cambridge Univ Press. 37-40.

Abstract: Therapy theorists' criticism of the lack of specific mechanisms in the prevention of mental disorders is examined from the perspective of solution-focused therapy (SFT), which argues that solutions can be unrelated to problems, and that it is not even necessary to know what a problem is in order to solve it. It is suggested that the shift of attention from problems to solutions in SFT offers a conceptual framework within which the criticism is not relevant, and from which theorists of therapy and prevention can share a common outlook. This outlook involves a focus on encouraging productive, useful, positive behavior, with a corresponding deemphasis on and skepticism about current conceptualizations of mental disorders.

Note: Article JM Fish, St Johns Univ, Dept Psychol, 8000 Utopia Pkwy, Jamaica, NY 11439 USA

Keyword(s): prevention of mental illness; brief therapy; solution-focused therapy; response expectancy; positive expectancy

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